Feds say new fighter jet selection is coming, but exact timing still unclear – National

Federal procurement officers gained’t say when Canada will take the subsequent step within the years-long course of of choosing a brand new fighter jet.

The federal authorities introduced in December that it had narrowed its seek for a substitute of the navy’s getting older CF-18s to Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Swedish Saab Gripen.

The federal government stated at the moment a call can be made in brief order on whether or not the federal government would have interaction in one other spherical of negotiations with the 2 firms, or choose a winner outright.

But practically 4 months later, no announcement has been forthcoming, resulting in issues about even additional delays in changing Canada’s CF-18s at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has underscored the significance of contemporary navy capabilities.

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Public Providers and Procurement Canada assistant deputy minister Simon Web page stated Tuesday the method is “very energetic, very stay” as he was grilled by a parliamentary committee over the dearth of a call.

But whereas Web page and different federal officers expressed optimism {that a} contract with the profitable bidder will probably be signed by the top of the 12 months, they declined to offer any particulars on the explanations for the delay or when a call on the subsequent step might come.

“Answering the query would have us lean a technique over the opposite,” Web page instructed members of the Home of Commons authorities operations committee. “And I simply don’t need to reply that right now, to guard the integrity of the method.”

It additionally wasn’t instantly clear who will in the end resolve whether or not to maneuver forward with one other spherical of negotiations with Lockheed Martin and Saab, or the choice of a last winner.

Conservative committee member Kelly McCauley expressed concern in regards to the lack of readability round what is occurring with the fighter procurement, significantly given the quite a few delays which have dragged the seek for a brand new fighter out over a decade.

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The federal authorities is planning to purchase 88 new fighter jets at an estimated price of as much as $19 billion, with supply of the primary airplane anticipated no sooner than 2025. The ultimate plane was presupposed to be delivered in 2032, however that has since moved to 2033.

The Boeing Tremendous Hornet was additionally within the working, however was kicked out of the competitors in December.

The profitable choice of a brand new fighter jet this 12 months would mark the fruits of greater than a decade of stop-start efforts marked by mismanagement and political controversy below two successive federal governments.

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