Canada upgrades air force with F35 jet purchases from Lockheed

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Canada upgrades air force with F35 jet purchases from Lockheed

Robert Besser
13 Jan 2023, 04:38 GMT+10

  • The Canadian government and American defense company Lockheed Martin has finalized an agreement for the purchase of 88 F-35 fighter jets worth $14.2 billion
  • During a news conference, Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canada expects the first F-35s to be delivered in 2026, and for the fleet to be fully operational between 2032 and 2034
  • The announcement was made after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s travelled o to the North American leaders’ summit in Mexico, where he will meet US President Joe Biden

OTTAWA, Canada: The Canadian government and American defense company Lockheed Martin has finalized an agreement for the purchase of 88 F-35 fighter jets worth $14.2 billion.

During a news conference, Defense Minister Anita Anand said Canada expects the first F-35s to be delivered in 2026, and for the fleet to be fully operational between 2032 and 2034.

“The F-35 is the most advanced fighter on the market and it is the right aircraft for our country,” Anand added, noting that purchase and maintenance could contribute over C$425 million annually to the Canadian economy and create 3,300 jobs per year.

The announcement was made after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s travelled o to the North American leaders’ summit in Mexico, where he will meet US President Joe Biden.

For more than a decade, Ottawa has aimed to replace its fleet of Boeing F-18 fighters, which are more than 40 years old, but was releatedly delayed by changes in governments, new rules for aircraft procurement, and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Initially opposed to buying F-35s due to costs, the Trudeau government held a competitive process to select the planes, with Lockheed beating Sweden’s SAAB and Boeing.

“This is a very necessary piece for the Canadian military to have a fighter plane made in the 21st century,” said Stephen Saideman from Ottawa’s Carleton University, as reported by Reuters.

In addition to the price of the jets, the project includes cost of establishing infrastructure, weapons and other related expenses.

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