Monday, November 16, 2015

Trudeau Orders Reopening of Canadian Fighter Competition, Cancellation of F-35 Order

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has ordered a reopening of the bidding process to replace Canada's aging fleet of fighter jets, according to a letter unsealed Friday.

Trudeau's Liberal Party had pledged to scrap the multibillion-dollar purchase of the Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jet -- the apparent frontrunner to replace Canada's CF-18s -- during the election campaign that swept it into power last month, calling the buy a boondoggle.

In a so-called mandate letter to Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan -- a letter from the prime minister laying out his policy goals and expectations -- Trudeau told Sajjan he would be "working with the minister of public services and procurement to launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft, focusing on options that match Canada's defence needs."

This would mark the second reboot in three years of the largest military procurement project in Canadian history.

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