Canada’s CF-18 fighter crafts have been in use for more than 30 years, and we are expecting their replacements sometime near the year 2030. In the interim, however, the Liberal government has ordered 18 Boeing Super Hornet jets, crafts described as costing billions and alleged to only have a 12-15 year life expectancy.

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The decision to purchase the Super Hornets has been attacked by critics such as James Bezan, who has said: “If they are going to use [the Super Hornets] for only 12 years, then this is a very expensive option that makes absolutely no sense.” Harjit Sajjan, the current Minister of National Defence, has justified the purchase, by describing Canada as experiencing a “capability gap”, a situation he blames on former Prime Minister Harper’s past reluctance to replace the aging CF-18 crafts.

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James Bezan wonders if interim crafts are even necessary, noting that military officers have estimated that the CF-18s can operate effectively until 2025, a timeframe which provides ample opportunity for the government to purchase permanent replacements.  

An earlier report, which was posted on the Defence department’s website for over a year,  stated: “The costs involved with [interim] options make them unsuitable for filling capability gaps in the short term. Any short-term investment results in disproportionately high costs during the bridging period.” Interestingly enough, following the Super Hornet announcement, the Defence Department’s report has since been deleted.

 

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