Canada puts premium on fighter jets’ ability to conduct attacks on foreign soil
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June 11, 2019 - by Daniel Leblanc for theglobeandmail.com
The federal government's plan to buy new fighter jets puts greater emphasis on the aircraft's ability to conduct "strategic attacks" in foreign countries than their capacity to defend Canada and North America from enemy incursions, government documents show.
The importance awarded to the new aircraft's offensive and first-strike capabilities abroad, rather than their defensive capabilities in places such as the Arctic, is causing concerns among some companies in the running for the $19-billion contract to replace Canada's CF-18s, industry sources said.
In particular, some manufacturers have told the government they are worried the process will end up favouring the Lockheed-Martin F-35 at the expense of bids from the Boeing Super Hornet, Saab's Gripen and the Eurofighter Typhoon, which is built by a consortium led by Airbus. The industry sources who spoke about the matter were granted anonymity because federal rules prevent them from speaking publicly.
Federal officials said they are aware of the concerns from various aircraft manufacturers and that government experts are reviewing the evaluation grid. The government is planning to launch the competition for new fighter jets by the end of July.
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