Foreign military set to purchase Australia's F/A 18s

Foreign military set to purchase Australia's F/A 18s

Ottawa was planning to buy 18 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets but has elected instead to buy used F-18s from the Australian government, some of which will be cannibalized for spare parts for the Canadian military's existing stock, Reuters said.

OTTAWA-Industry sources say the Trudeau government is preparing to push back the expected delivery date of a new fighter jet to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fleet.

The U.S. plane manufacturer filed a complaint against its Canadian rival Bombardier in April 2016, accusing it of using Canadian government subsidies to win a Delta Air Lines contract for 75 aircraft.

Read the whole story from Reuters.

The Canadian government is not commenting on the report.

The F/A-18 is a twin-engine, supersonic combat aircraft that can operate as a fighter or attack jet.

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Canada was looking to buy the Boeing aircraft as a placeholder for its fleet until a competition in 2019 to replace its ageing CF-18 jets.

Investors Business Daily notes that the move appears to be motivated by a 300 percent tariff Washington slapped on sales of Canadian Bombardier Series C jets.

Sources said that in order to offer the same capabilities as 18 new Boeing Super Hornets, which were the federal government's first choice, the RCAF will need at least 10 additional second-hand fighter jets.

Boeing complained to the US government that Bombardier was receiving subsidies, which in turn allowed it to sell its C-Series civilian passenger aircraft at below-market prices.

The final ruling in the case is expected next year, but the relationship between Boeing and Canada has nosedived since. It would be a deeply unfortunate outcome. The Canadian company says Boeing, which did not offer any of its own aircraft to Delta, could not have been harmed by its actions, which it maintains were in line with worldwide rules.

"As with any of our customer's decisions, we are there for the long term and in Canada, we have had a proud history with them for decades". "Unfortunately, I think they're taking advantage of a [political] context that's favourable to them".