The Canadian government today announced a $8.5 billion plan to replace its entire fleet of CF-18s with Joint Strike Fighter aircraft, a step that will secure 65 new F-35s for the Canadian military and $11.3 billion worth of steady work for Canadian aerospace companies.
Canada is one of eight partner nations that has invested in the stealthy aircraft $168 million, to date) and its Minister of National Defense, Peter MacKay, explained the decision to acquire it in a statement today.
The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is the best aircraft we can provide our men and women in uniform to face and defeat the challenges of the 21st century. This multi-role stealth fighter will help the Canadian forces defend the sovereignty of Canadian airspace, remain a strong and reliable partner in the defense of North America, and provide Canada with an effective and modern capability for international operations.
Jacques Gourde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and to the Minister of National Revenue, said:
Canadian participation in the Joint Strike Fighter program will bring high-value jobs and other economic benefits to our country. This government is delivering on our plan to strengthen Canada’s defence industry, leverage Canada’s competitive advantage and work with industry to help position Canadian companies for success in the global marketplace.
A fact sheet issued today by the Canadian defense ministry explains further:
Now that Canada has committed to purchasing the F-35, Canadian industrial opportunities could exceed CAD$12 billion [$11.3 billion] for the production of the aircraft. Sustainment and follow-on opportunities for Canadian industry are emerging and will be available over the 40-year life of the program. For instance, in accordance with the industrial participation agreements, all 19 Canadian companies manufacturing items for the F-35 will also repair and overhaul those components for the entire global fleet.