Military Weapons Contractor Lockheed Martin Could Be On New Canadian Prime Minister’s Chopping Block

Military Weapons Contractor Lockheed Martin Could Be On New Canadian Prime Minister’s Chopping Block

Justin Trudeau has only been Canada’s president for a few days but already he is causing military weapons contractor Lockheed Martin some financial nightmares.

Canada was poised to buy 60 F-35s from Lockheed Martin to replace its 30-year-old CF-18 Hornets, but leading up to the elections Trudeau vowed to “reduce the procurement budget for replacing the CF-18s” – and “will instead purchase one of the many, lower-priced options that better match Canada’s defence needs.”

That means that America’s Boeing, Sweden’s Saab and France’s Dassault, are in the running as they all offer cheaper alternatives to the F-35.

Capital Alpha Partners analyst Byron Callan, says “The F-35 could face more competition from the F/A-18 and Dassault Rafale, both of which could be in production longer based on international orders.While neither is comparable to the F-35, both represent good-enough alternatives for some countries.”

Military experts say if Canada chooses an older jet, it would be lowering its capability of operating against sophisticated surface-to-air missiles and long-range radars.  But Trudeau is questioning the need for stealthy attack aircraft if Canada is not involved in first-strike missions.

“The primary mission of our fighter aircraft should remain the defence of North America, not stealth first-strike capability. That mission includes intercepting enemy planes and ships; American and Canadian fighter jets occasionally intercept Russian bombers in international airspace near their coastlines” he says.

The military experts say the F/A- Super Hornet is at the head of the list of replacement for the F-35.

Richard Aboulafia, vice president for analysis at the Teal Group says, “What they really want is something that guarantees air sovereignty, and frankly, the CF-18 has done the job and chances are the Super Hornet will do the job,” said

Had conservatives won the Canadian election, the government would have bought four to eight F-35s a year beginning in 2017.

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