Mark Collins – F-35 Allowed to Compete for New RCAF Fighter After All?

Well, well, well–further to this post one can just imagine the pressure our new government has been under from the Americans (and LockMart):

Canada Defense Minister Backs Off Campaign Rejection of F-35 Jet

Canada’s new defense minister backed off a campaign-trail pledge by his Liberal Party that Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jets would be excluded from a competition to replace the country’s aging fleet of military aircraft.

Harjit Sajjan said Monday [Dec. 21] during a conference call with reporters his focus is finding the best aircraft to replace the CF-18 jets before they become obsolete. He was asked twice whether the F-35 is being excluded from bidding, and both times he sidestepped the question. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said while campaigning for the October election Canada “won’t purchase the F-35” because they’re too expensive [see link near end].

Canada still needs to set the terms of a new competition for replacement aircraft, ones that can be available “in a timely manner” and be able to work on missions with U.S. and European allies, Sajjan said Monday. The previous government had invested in F-35 development contracts without signing a final purchase agreement.

“My focus isn’t about F-35 or any other aircraft; my focus” is about replacing the CF-18s, Sajjan said on the call. “We will open it up to an open process.”..


F-35 and Canadian Election: Liberals Loose With Fighter Costs

Canadian Election: ISIS, the F-35, Justin Trudeau and POTUS
[my musings]

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


7 thoughts on “Mark Collins – F-35 Allowed to Compete for New RCAF Fighter After All?”

  1. Finns are having their own competition which may include along with the usual suspects the F-15–and the F-35:


    “Facing the Bear: Nordics’ Fighter Force Greatly to Outnumber Canadian…”

    Mark Collins

  2. Meanwhile the Finns are at least theoretically open to the F-35:

    “Finland kicks-off F/A-18 replacement process

    Finland has notified five manufacturers of its intention to seek bids for its HX fighter-replacement programme, which will see it replace its 61-strong Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornet fleet.

    On 16 December, the Finnish ministry of defence notified the governments of France, Sweden, the UK and the USA that it will be seeking information on seven aircraft types from five different manufacturers.

    Requests for information (RFI) will be issued by March 2016, Finland says, which will include the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault Rafale, Saab Gripen, Boeing F-18 and F-15, and Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-16.

    Replies to the RFI are to be submitted to Helsinki by the end of October 2016, with the contest to be launched in “spring 2018”, followed by a selection in 2021 [plenty of time to get F-35 costs down]…

    The current F-18 fleet will be phased out by 2025, and Helsinki estimates it will take around 15 years to introduce the new capability.

    Finland operates 54 single-seater F-18Cs and seven two-seater F-18Ds, that are nearing 20 years in age…

    Denmark operates the ageing F-16A/B and is in the process of deciding on a replacement which many believe will be the F-35A, as Copenhagen was previously involved in the JSF’s development stage.”

    See earlier:

    “Facing the Bear: Nordics’ Fighter Force Greatly to Outnumber Canadian…”

    Mark Collins

  3. I suspet this is a mistake. Canada was sued once before for letting some one bid when we knew the manufacturer wasn’t going to win. It was one of the helicopter deals but I don’t remember which one.

    Mind you we would probably get sued for not letting them in. Why is it US military procurement is exempt from trade deals all the way to the Army Corp of Engineers paving roads but there is no such exemption for Canada?

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