Decision to Purchase Super Hornet Fighter Jets Instead Of Holding An Open Competition

The men and women of Canada’s Armed Forces put their lives on the line for Canada. We owe it to them to provide the best equipment to keep them safe when they fight on behalf of all of us.

The Super Hornet is yesterday’s plane. It was designed 35 years ago and cannot stand up to today’s threats on the battle field. Advances in missile and fighter jet technology mean CF-18s are less likely to survive in a conflict zone compared to the F-35. Calling this an ‘interim’ solution is political window dressing to ensure the Liberals can safely move a final decision on a new fighter jet until after the next election. It is a decision that wastes billions of dollars while delaying a final decision on buying a modern fighter jet.

In the last election, the Liberals promised not to purchase the F-35 Lightning Fighter Jet. However, industry experts agree that if an open and transparent competition was held today, the F-35 would win it. This is why the delay in launching an open competition is simply a dirty political game to meet a bad Liberal campaign promise.

The Liberals say this purchase is about a “capability gap.” However Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, recently told the Defence Committee that “the end of the (CF-18s) useful life will be in 2025. Last week at committee, the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Jonathan Vance, called the Liberal’s capability gap “a false deduction”. Defence Research and Development Canada wrote in 2014 that “there was no need to pursue a bridging option” as “it is possible, with certain investments, to fly the CF-18 to 2025 and even beyond.”

The Government has announced to the world that it will be buying a plane that it has no idea how much it will cost. This is the exact opposite of openness and transparency.