The Government of Canada has confirmed that it is to acquire the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
July 22: The Government of Canada has confirmed that it is to acquire the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to replace its fleet of 108 CF-188 Hornets, which are expected to reach the end of their operational life between 2017 and 2020. The government has committed $9 billion to acquire 65 F-35As along with associated weapons, infrastructure, initial spares and training simulators and project operating costs saying the F-35 is “the only available fifth generation aircraft that meets the Canadian Forces’ need for a next-generation fighter”. Deliveries are expected to start in 2016.
The statement is welcome news for Lockheed Martin, which is nervous of partner nations deserting the programme due to escalating costs and delays. Canada’s commitment may give confidence to some of the western European nations such as Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, all of which have distanced themselves from a commitment to F-35 in recent months.