Canada no longer intends to purchase 18 Boeing Co Super Hornet fighter jets during the growing argument with the U.S. aerospace company. Next week, the country will announce the purchasing of a used fleet of older Australia F-18 jets, the same type Canada currently utilizes, according to sources.
This move shows Canada’s irritation with Boeing, due to its decision to begin a trade challenge against Canadian plane maker Bombardier Inc. Boeing is accusing Bombardier of dumping airliners into the American market. The move also questions the future of Boeing’s military sales in the country. Boeing stated that its commercial and defense operations in Canada support over 17,000 jobs.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had initially stated that he wanted to use Boeing jets as substitutes until permanent fleet could replace Canada’s old CF-18 jets. As the relationship with Boeing declined, Ottawa criticized the aerospace company for not operating as its trusted partner and started looking into Australian jets. Australia’s Defence Department said in a statement that Canada expressed interest for “a number” of Australia’s F/A-18 Classic Hornets at the end of September, adding, “Defence is continuing to assist Canada in regards to their EOI,” the statement added, without disclosing a price or any other details.
Sources believe that by purchasing the Australian fleet, Canada would save money, sidestep the requirement of training its pilots on a new aircraft as well as spending funds on a new supply chain. The offices of Public Works Minister Carla Qualtrough and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, who both are responsible for military purchasing, both declined to comment as well as Boeing. The Australian mission in Ottawa was not available for comment. Canada intends to formally announce the requirements for its new fighter fleet in early 2019, commencing an open competition.