(AFP) The government of Canada confirmed on Monday (9) the purchase of 88 American F-35 fighter jets to replace its obsolete fleet, a transaction valued at 19 billion Canadian dollars ($14.2 billion).
The order, which represents the highest investment in 30 years, was announced in March last year by the Canadian government.
“This project takes on even greater importance as our world grows darker, with Russia’s illegal and unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine and China’s increasingly dominant stance in the Indo-Pacific region,” explained Canada’s Defence Minister Anita Anand at a press conference.
“It is time to ensure the defense of our country, including the Arctic,” the minister added.
The agreement reached with Washington and American manufacturers Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney provides for the first planes to be delivered in 2026, and the entire fleet between 2032 and 2034.
In the course of the last few months, other countries like Germany and Switzerland have signed contracts for F-35 fighter jets, considered to be the most efficient combat aircraft of today.
“I confirm that Canada is buying the best fighter jet on the market for the best price,” Anand detailed.
In the past, Canada has often purchased military equipment from the United States, allowing it to be in line with its allies from NATO and Norad, the North American defense organization.
However, upon coming to power in 2015, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau even stated that he would not buy American F-35s due to their high cost.