In The Media

Canada will consider Lockheed's F-35 jet, despite criticism about cost: Trudeau

by David Ljunggren and Leah Schnurr (feat. David Perry)

Reuters
December 12, 2016

Canada will still consider Lockheed Martin Inc's (LMT.N) F-35 in an open competition for fighter jets, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday, despite domestic and foreign criticism about the program's cost.

Earlier on Monday, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump said the cost of Lockheed's F-35 program was "out of control."

A source familiar with the fighter jet replacement effort said Canadian officials found Trump's remark interesting but were not drawing too many conclusions.

"Because the president-elect sends a tweet, is the price a couple of years from now of an F-35 really going to be dramatically different?" said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

Canada's ruling Liberals won an election last year on a promise not to buy F-35s because the planes were too expensive. Trudeau told Parliament that the former Conservative government had "clung to a plane that does not work and is far from being able to work."

But the Liberal government has since softened its position and said this year that all suppliers could bid to replace its aging fighter CF-18 jet fleet.

Still, Canada snubbed Lockheed last month when it unveiled plans to buy 18 Boeing Corp (BA.N) Super Hornets as a stop-gap measure while it started the fighter jet competition over again. Officials said the contest could take five years.

"It's an open and transparent competition we're going to be engaged in and the various aircraft and aircraft producers will have an opportunity to make their best case," Trudeau told a news conference when asked whether Canada might be more likely to opt for the F-35 if the costs fell.

Pressed as to how vindicated he felt by Trump's comments, Trudeau declined to answer directly.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, asked about the potential impact of the F-35 becoming cheaper, told reporters on Monday that "we are going to be making sure that we get the right aircraft and making sure it's the right price."

The previous Conservative government announced in 2010 it would buy 65 F-35s but reversed itself after an official probe savaged the way the decision had been made.

Kim Richard Nossal, a Queen's University political studies professor and author of a 2016 book on Canadian defense procurement, said it was likely Ottawa would still buy the F-35 in five years' time because of concerns around future production of the Super Hornet.

Lockheed Martin said it understood concerns about affordability, noting its goal was to reduce the price of the F-35 by 60 percent from original estimates.

Canada is staying in the nine-nation consortium that helped fund development of the F-35. Lockheed Martin said in June it was studying whether to shift work on the plane away from Canadian firms amid uncertainty over Ottawa's intentions.

Canadian firms will account for development and production work on the F-35 program worth about US$1 billion by the end of 2016, the company said.


Be the first to comment

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS
 
SEARCH
PODCAST

The Future of North American Trade: Assessing the USMCA

October 13, 2018

On today's Global Exchange Podcast, we convene our roster of North American trade experts to discuss the newly signed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). Join host Colin Robertson in discussion with Eric Miller, Laura Dawson, Sarah Goldfeder, and Larry Herman, as they discuss the pros and cons of the new deal, as well as what happens next.



EXPERTS IN THE MEDIA

Why is Trump so keen to protect the Saudis?

by Ishaan Tharoor (feat. Thomas Juneau), The Washington Post, October 18, 2018

As Trans Mountain stalls, TransCanada begins preliminary work on Keystone XL

by Geoffrey Morgan (feat. Dennis McConaghy), Financial Post, October 18, 2018

Halifax shipyard workers warn of layoffs if maintenance work sent to Quebec

by Andrea Gunn & Stuart Peddle (feat. Dave Perry), The Chronical Herald, October 17, 2018

Canada needs Saudi Arabia ‘whether we like it or not,’ says booted Canadian envoy

by Samantha Wright Allen (feat. Thomas Juneau), The Hill Times, October 17, 2018


LATEST TWEETS

HEAD OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Suite 1800, 421-7th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2P 4K9

 

OTTAWA OFFICE
Canadian Global Affairs Institute
8 York Street, 2nd Floor
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 5S6

 

Phone: (613) 288-2529
Email: contact@cgai.ca
Web: cgai.ca

 

Making sense of our complex world.
Déchiffrer la complexité de notre monde.

 

© 2002-2018 Canadian Global Affairs Institute
Charitable Registration No. 87982 7913 RR0001

 


Sign in with Facebook | Sign in with Twitter | Sign in with Email