Nov 8, 2014

Canada to buy four F-35s, Pentagon suggests

A leaked Pentagon briefing says Canada has signalled to Washington that it wants to buy at least four F-35 stealth fighters in the current fiscal year which means a possible delivery date of either 2016 or 2017.
The U.S. said it would agree to the switch as long as the long-delayed development of the fighters remains on track and that no other allies asked for a similar consideration.
The presentation by U.S. Lt.-Gen. Chris Bogdan -- head of the F-35 program at the Pentagon -- also said the U.S. project office has begun the process of notifying Congress.
Canada signalled the government's intention to buy the F-35 in 2010, but a series of production delays and uncertainty over the price tag made the program a political lightning rod.
When it first proposed the program, the government intended to buy 65 jets. The briefing gives no hint at a timetable for potential follow-on purchases.
Since early summer, the federal cabinet has been studying a series of reports looking at alternatives to the F-35 and the expected industrial benefits. A decision had been expected earlier in the fall.

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