Monday, 11 December, 2017

Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report

Report: Canada canceling purchase of new Boeing fighter jets Canada to buy surplus Australian F-18s, says report
Nellie Chapman | 07 December, 2017, 06:34

The new F/A-18 fighter jets would have been a temporary measure for Canada, to allow the country to meet its commitments to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).

But several sources told The Canadian Press on Wednesday that defence officials now don't expect the first of 88 new fighters to be delivered for another eight years, putting the new time frame around 2026.

The federal government will officially punish Boeing Co. for its trade dispute against Canada's Bombardier Inc., replacing the planned order of 18 new Boeing jets with the purchase of up to 30 second-hand fighters from the Australian military, sources said.

But the decision could have major financial implications if it means having to sink even more money into the CF-18s than the hundreds of millions already set aside to keep them flying into the next decade.

The Liberal government had wanted to buy 18 Super Hornet fighter jets but that plan was derailed when the jet's manufacturer, Boeing, filed the trade complaint in April against Bombardier of Quebec over its civilian passenger jets.

Two of the sources said Australian military officials had been in Ottawa late last month for talks. Last year, we lost approximately $71 billion in trade deficit; we have a trade deficit with Mexico of $71 billion.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has said Canada can not meet all of its obligations to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) with its current fleet of CF-18s, arguing new fighter jets are needed before the entire fleet is replaced in the next decade.

The Australian plan does have its advantages.

Since the Australian fighter jets are nearly as old as the current Canadian fleet, RCAF will reportedly need to buy some additional planes to use them for spare parts. "We have obviously been looking at the Super Hornet aircraft from Boeing as a".

During question period Wednesday, Conservative MP Tony Clement called on the Liberals to abandon the "rusted out" Australian "bucket of bolts" and hold an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s. "With Canada, it was about $17 billion", the president said Tuesday in a meeting with Senate Republicans, according to Canadian news site Global News. "Canada hadn't operated them", Perry said.