Canada set to spend $76.8 billion on Lockheed Martin F-35 warplanes
The Government of Canada’s Future fighter capability project webpage notes that a contract will be awarded in 2022 for “88 advanced fighter aircraft”.
Yesterday, Major-General Eric Kenny, commander of the Canadian NORAD region, also commented he expects the decision within the year.
While suggesting the possibility of a delay, the Ottawa Citizen reported late last year: “The winning bidder [could] be announced in March/April of 2022.”
Now, the Toronto Star editorial board comments: “The government should finally stop dithering on the decade-long embarrassment of procuring fighters. It should make a decision, most likely in favour of the Lockheed-Martin F-35 that it once derided, and get on with it.”
The call for Canada to buy the F-35 has also recently been made by Conservative national defence critic Kerry-Lynne Findlay, Conservative foreign affairs critic Michael Chong, the Macdonald-Laurier Institute, retired Canadian naval intelligence officer Andrew Chester, and Canada’s former chief of defence staff Tom Lawson.
The F-35 is also believed to be the choice of the Canadian military.
The CBC has previously reported: “The military signed three MOUs with the U.S. in 1997, 2002 and 2006 committing Canada in some measure to the new F-35 fighter jets, but had not enlisted Public Works, which vets federal procurements.”
As a partner country in the development of the F-35, Canada has already invested USD $613 million (approximately CAD $773 million) in the warplane since 1997.
This spring, Canada will pay another USD $71.7 million (about CAD $90 million) to the US military for the development of this fighter jet.
This coincides with the upcoming federal budget expected in the first week of April. The Canadian Press reports: “Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland has hinted that more money may be coming for the military in her upcoming budget as Canada sees many of its allies boosting their defence spending.”
While an official estimate has not been released, it has been calculated that buying the F-35s will cost $76.8 billion over 30 years.
In a statement released today on the war in Ukraine, Peace Brigades International highlights: “The dominant security discourse associated with the militarization of societies is a setback. Billions more spent on weapons will not make the world safer.”
We continue to follow this situation.