Department of National Defence says it is on track to purchase new fighter jets in 2022

Published by Brent Patterson on

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The Government of Canada is in the process of selecting a new fighter jet for the Royal Canadian Air Force. It plans to choose either the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, or the Saab Gripen.

It has stated: “The initial evaluation of proposals is anticipated to be completed by spring 2021, at which point Canada may choose to enter into dialogue with two or more compliant bidders and request revised proposals.”

The Future fighter capability project website also provides these dates: “Implementation project approval: 2022” and “Contract award: 2022”.

Now, the Canadian Press reports: “Troy Crosby, the assistant deputy minister of materiel at the Department of National Defence, says officials remain on track to meet that schedule [of finishing the evaluation process later this year and selecting] a winner next year.”

The Deputy Minister at DND says: “I still see the evaluation being completed this year. And that would get us to a point where we could enter whatever the resulting agreements or contracts are next year in 2022.”

This purchase appears to be moving ahead despite the Parliamentary Budget Officer now projecting a $363.4 billion deficit.

It also follows news of research by a team at Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management that says Canada will lose $11.9 billion because of the government’s purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project.

The Government of Canada says the acquisition of the new fighter jets, associated equipment and setup to enable entry into service will cost $15-19 billion.

But the No Fighter Jet Coalition recently released this report that estimates the actual cost of Canada purchasing 88 new fighter jets could total $76.8 billion.

The Parliamentary Budget Officer does not plan to cost the new fighter jet until the Canadian government chooses one of the three fighter jets.

From the comments made by the Department of National Defence, it is not precisely clear when that selection will be made or if the costing by the Parliamentary Budget Officer would be completed before the contract is signed by the Government of Canada.

The No Fighter Jet Coalition will be present on Parliament Hill on Budget Day – Thursday April 19 at 3:30 pm – to highlight these concerns.

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