Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets

Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets

Feds planning to push back delivery date for new fighter jets

The Canadian government is due to cancel a $5.23-billion purchase of eighteen F-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft, in apparent retaliation for Boeing Co.'s trade-violation complaint that led the U.S. Commerce Department to investigate sales of Bombardier C-Series passenger jets to Delta Air Lines.

Three sources familiar with the matter told the news outlet that Canada will instead announce next week that it will purchase a used fleet of Australian F-18 jets, which Canada already operates.

Canada is likely to ditch its deal with Boeing in favor of purchasing planes from Australia following Boeing's accusations of unfair trade practices by their rival Canadian company, Bombardier.

Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia. They would supplement Canada's existing CF-18 fleet until a new aircraft could be acquired.

Speaking to The Globe and Mail in September, Boeing International president Marc Allen said the federal government should not forget that Boeing does $4-billion a year of business in Canada, with 560 suppliers and an overall impact of 17,000 jobs. "It has to be a two-way street, there has to be this mutually beneficial relationship for it to be one that grows, one that both sides are happy and excited about".

Ottawa says Bombardier is the latest victim of Donald Trump administration's trade policies, seeking to impose stiffer import penalties on a number of Canadian industries that Washington accuses of receiving government subsidies.

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In buying older Australian Super Hornets, Canada would be buying a cheaper aircraft, not need to retrain its pilots, nor spend money on a new supply chain, one source said.

Canadian defense sources say the air force - seeking to maintain close ties with its US counterpart - has long preferred a USA jet, which would narrow the race to the Super Hornet or Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 stealth fighter.

In response, the Commerce Department in September imposed a almost 220-percent preliminary tariff on the C-series, but a final decision is not until 2018.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the country "won't do business with a company that's busy trying to sue us and put our aerospace workers out of business".

However, Boeing Defense President and CEO Leanne Caret's reaction might offer observers a hint. "Unfortunately, I think they're taking advantage of a [political] context that's favourable to them". Ottawa has slammed the company for not acting as a trusted partner.

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