Canada strikes deal to buy F-35s from Lockheed, as CF-18s retire & More Trending News



WASHINGTON — Canada on Monday introduced plans to buy 88 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters for CA$19 billion (U.S. $14 billion).

Defence Minister Anita Anand mentioned in a web-based briefing the Royal Canadian Air Force would obtain its first 4 Lockheed Martin-made F-35s in 2026, with the subsequent six in 2027 and one other six in 2028. The the rest would are available in subsequent years.

The fifth-generation fighters will change Canada’s present fleet of CF-18 Hornets, the Royal Canadian Air Force’s model of the F/A-18, Anand mentioned. Canada expects the complete F-35 fleet to be delivered in time for the service to part the older fighters out by the top of 2032.

Anand mentioned Canada has procured Australian F/A-18 fighters to complement its CF-18s within the meantime. Canada plans to improve its CF-18s as a part of the Hornet extension mission, to allow them to final till 2032.

Anand mentioned this buy would be the Air Force’s largest fleet funding within the final three many years, and is important given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and China’s “increasingly assertive behavior in the Indo-Pacific.”

“The F-35 is a modern, reliable and agile fighter aircraft used by our closest allies in missions across the globe,” Anand mentioned. “It is the most advanced fighter on the market, and it is the right aircraft for our country.”

Canada first mentioned it will buy the F-35 aircrat in March 2022.

The U.S. army and Lockheed applauded Canada’s announcement in a press release from the corporate.

“Canada is our friend and a close ally,” mentioned U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, this system government officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office. “The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global game-changer. Through power projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict.”

“We are honored the Government of Canada has selected the F-35, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defense industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft,” mentioned Bridget Lauderdale, vp and common supervisor for Lockheed’s F-35 program. “The selection of [the] F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world.”

The choice quantities to a reversal for the administration of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who mentioned earlier than assuming workplace in 2015 that Canada wouldn’t buy the F-35. Anand mentioned Monday that the plane has since “matured.”

“We see now that many of our allies … are using the F-35,” Anand defined. “I am focused on ensuring that we deliver for the Canadian Armed Forces and for our country, as well as our multilateral obligations. And with this aircraft, which as I said has matured, we are doing just that.”

Canada has confidence in Lockheed’s potential to ship F-35s on time so the nation can retire its CF-18s, Anand mentioned, noting that she has no considerations over the associated provide chain.

Anand acknowledged Canada’s colder temperatures make for a “unique” working surroundings, and mentioned the F-35 was chosen after a “robust” choice course of that took the climate into consideration. She pointed to Norway’s success in flying the fighter, as nicely as the United States’ expertise flying it in Alaska, including that Canada will take steps to guarantee its F-35s can function within the Arctic.

Canada will guarantee its F-35s have drag chute capabilities to land on “short, icy, wet Arctic runways,” Anand mentioned, and that its fighters have true north navigation capabilities, slightly than magnetic north, to permit it to fly precisely deep into the Arctic.

Anand mentioned Canada will construct operational and coaching squadron services, together with upkeep bays and simulator coaching, at two of its army bases: Bagotville in Quebec and Cold Lake in Alberta.

Anand additionally mentioned Canada is investing in a collection of infrastructure upgrades nationwide to higher help North American Aerospace Defense Command and F-35 operations.

“Together these projects will sharpen our military edge to keep Canadians safe, and they will create economic opportunities for our country,” Anand mentioned.

She added that the F-35 acquisition and preliminary upkeep might contribute greater than CA$425 million to the native economic system every year, as nicely as create almost 3,300 jobs yearly over 25 years.

Companies in Canada have already secured almost $3 billion from the nation’s participation within the F-35 program, Anand mentioned, which can develop additional as Canada will increase its participation.

Stephen Losey is the air warfare reporter for Defense News. He beforehand lined management and personnel points at Air Force Times, and the Pentagon, particular operations and air warfare at He has traveled to the Middle East to cowl U.S. Air Force operations.

Canada strikes deal to buy F-35s from Lockheed, as CF-18s retire

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Canada strikes deal to buy F-35s from Lockheed, as CF-18s retire

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Canada strikes deal to buy F-35s from Lockheed, as CF-18s retire

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