(Canadian Press photo)

New fighter-jet competition to have national ‘economic interest’ requirement

Trudeau government wants to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025

The Trudeau government is kicking off its latest bid to replace its aging fleet of fighter jets — and adding a new requirement to the procurement process by assessing a company’s overall impact on the Canadian economy.

The government is launching a full competition to replace Canada’s aging CF-18s with 88 new fighters by as early as 2025, a move that comes in the midst of an ongoing trade dispute with U.S. aerospace giant Boeing.

“Applications will be rigorously assessed on cost, technical requirements and economic benefit,” Procurement Minister Carla Qualtrough told a news conference Tuesday.

“Our government feels it is important to maximize economic impacts; as such, the evaluation of bids will also include an assessment of bidders on Canada’s economic interests. This new assessment is an incentive for bidders to contribute positively to Canada’s economy.

“Bidders responsible for harming Canada’s economic interests will be at a distinct disadvantage compared to bidders who aren’t engaged in detrimental behaviour.”

READ: Canada’s military to get $14B over the next decade

Boeing has been eager to submit its Super Hornet to compete for the contract, which is valued at up to $19 billion and expected to start delivering jets in 2025. But the new stipulation could well have an impact on Boeing if its trade dispute with Canadian rival Bombardier is still alive and ends up being deemed harmful to Canada’s economic interests.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the government settled on the number of 88 fighters even though the previous Conservative government had only planned to buy 65 new planes, an effort that never got off the ground.

“After extensive consultations and careful analysis as part of the defence policy review, it was clear that a full fleet of 88 planes are required to fully meet our Norad and NATO obligations simultaneously,” he said.

“Our government will not risk-manage our national defence commitments.”

The Liberals are also officially abandoning a plan to buy 18 Super Hornets to temporarily boost Canada’s CF-18 fleet, saying they plan instead to buy 18 second-hand fighter jets from Australia.

“We have received an offer for sale of F-18 aircraft from the government of Australia, which we intend to pursue, and we have received an offer of Super Hornets from the U.S. government, which we intend to let expire,” Qualtrough said.

Officials briefing reporters on background say that while details are still being worked out, the used Australian jets will cost significantly less than Super Hornets and can be put into action two years faster.

Since Canada already flies a version of the same fighter jet, “the supply chain and maintenance lines required to support these aircraft are already in place,” Sajjan said.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Product seized from a Victoria cannabis compassion club for a second time

The Cannabis Buyers Club has been operating on Johnson Street since 2001

Victoria International Airport deemed the most efficient for its size

Ranking appears in a report comparing airports across three international areas

Victoria police investigating chop-shop found in Beacon Hill Park

Police asking public to register bikes with them in case lost or stolen

Driver slapped with $483 ticket for excessive speeding in Saanich construction zone

Police traffic unit reminds drivers to slow down in McKenzie interchange

Province expands substance use teams to address overdose crisis

People who use substances to have greater access to health care services

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

COVID-19 gives B.C. First Nation rare chance to examine tourism’s impact on grizzly bears

With 40 infrared cameras deployed in Kitasoo-Xai’Xais territory, research will help develop tourism plan with least impact on bears

NDP wants Lower Mainland MLA removed from BC Liberal caucus for alleged homophobia

BC Liberal leader, some MLAs apologize for Christian magazine ads but Laurie Throness doubles down

B.C. health officials pleased with likely extension of Canada-U.S. border closure

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the situation is ‘very serious in the United States’

Children suffer swollen eyes, burns while playing at Lower Mainland spray park

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Most Read