October 5, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Ottawa is to buy 88 F-35 aircraft

Ottawa is to buy 88 F-35 aircraft

The federal government is in the final stages of negotiating with US shipowner Lockheed Martin to purchase 88 F-35 military aircraft. A decade after the plan was laid out in the Greek calendar.

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“Canada’s security, sovereignty and self – defense need a new warplane,” said Defense Minister Anita Anand, adding that “we are living in a new reality” after Russia’s occupation of Ukraine.

This potential investment, “the largest in the last 30 years”, was the first clear signal of Canada’s intention to increase its military capabilities after the war.

Minister Anand and his purchasing colleague, Philomina Dasi, assured that no action would be taken or hastened in the procurement process.

The deal – “not yet signed”, ministers have repeatedly said – could cost nearly $ 20 billion and Ottawa announced that the first distribution could take place in 2025. Ms. Dassie, however, noted that it would be over in at least seven months.

Negotiations to replace the Royal Air Force’s aging fleet have been going on for several years, while two different manufacturers, the Swedish SAAB and the American Boeing, have been operating.

The F-35 aircraft is one of the most advanced on the market today, but one of the most expensive. The Government has promised that the terms and conditions of the contract will ensure timely delivery and maintenance of these devices.

Several NATO member states have recently announced that they will increase their military capabilities in the wake of the Russian occupation. NATO recommends an investment target of 2% of its total budget for member states.

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Germany, for example, announced on March 14 its intention to acquire 35 F-35 aircraft from Lockheed Martin.

Finland, for its part, announced last December that it would buy these 64 aircraft for $ 12.1 billion.

The government of Stephen Harper announced its intention to purchase 65 F-35 aircraft in 2010, after which the plan fell through political battles.

Ottawa estimates it will create and maintain about 900 jobs in the country during the construction phase of the aircraft.

Benefits for Bagotville

The news should have a positive impact on Quebec, as the military base in Baghdad will benefit from this potentially big deal. The Bogotville site has been identified as one of two infrastructure projects, including a Gold Lake base in Alberta that will welcome new aircraft, according to a federal release on Monday.

Both military bases are targeted by major investments in the modernization of their infrastructure. The Saguenay site has announced work worth $ 12.1 million to design a new facility for fighter jets.

“This infrastructure will ensure the long-term maintenance and operation of the new aircraft and is one step closer to its goal of providing Canada with the infrastructure it needs for its future passengers.” General Services and Procurement Canada says.

The Bogotville site’s public affairs department declined to comment on the news on Monday, recalling that “no deal has been finalized yet.”

– In collaboration with Pierre-Paul Biron