Sale of Australian Classic Hornets to Canada
(Source: Australian Department of Defence; issued Dec 13, 2017)
Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today announced the Government has agreed to the sale of 18 Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornets to the Government of Canada.

The offer follows an expression of interest from the Canadian Government received in September. The sale of the aircraft and associated spares remains subject to final negotiations and Country of Origin export approvals.

Defence plans to withdraw its fleet of F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets from service by 2022, which will be progressively replaced by the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, Australia's new fifth-generation air combat capability.

Minister Payne spoke with her Canadian counterpart, Minister for National Defence Harjit Sajjan, to welcome the sale.

“Australia greatly values our longstanding and broad bilateral defence relationship with Canada, and this decision is another example of our close and strong partnership,” Minister Payne said.

“The aircraft will supplement Canada’s existing fleet as it develops and implements its plan to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force fighter jet fleet.

Transfer of the first two aircraft is expected to occur from the first half of 2019, in line with the current plan to transition to the Joint Strike Fighter.

Australia’s first two Joint Strike Fighters are expected to arrive in Australia at the end of 2018.


Liberal Plan for Interim Jets Tackles 'Capability Gap' That Doesn't Exist: Experts (excerpt)
(Source: HuffPost Canada; posted Dec 2, 2017)
By Althia Raj
OTTAWA --- The federal government is expected to announce Tuesday that it will delay the launch of an open competition to replace Canada's aging CF-18 fighter jets and purchase second-hand 30-year-old Australian aircraft instead in an effort to fix a capability gap that industry observers describe as "fictional."

"It is absolutely, totally, nonsensical," Alan Williams, the former assistant deputy minister (materiel) for national defence, told HuffPost Canada of the Liberal government's impending announcement.

"There is no need to have interim jets. There is no need to waste billions of dollars, no need to train people on different platforms," he said. "Even if you admit there is a gap — which I don't think anyone seriously believes — the way to go about resolving it is exactly the opposite of what they are doing."
'You are not reinventing the wheel'

The fastest way to fix the problem is through a competition, he said.

"Everything is out there. You are not reinventing the wheel. There is no reason why they can't start that within a month, if they want to."

The Liberals promised during the 2015 election campaign that they would "immediately launch an open and transparent competition to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft." The Grits pledged not buy the F-35 — a plane the Tories had favoured and misled the public about its cost — and instead promised to focus on a lower-priced aircraft that would meet basic needs related to the defence of North America.

But 25 months after forming government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's ministers are suggesting an open competition won't occur until 2019.

"They could have announced they would run a competition two years ago," Williams said, "and be well done with it." (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the HuffPost Canada website.


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