OTTAWA --- Canada has increased the number of used Australian F-18 Hornet jets it plans to buy from 18 to 25, the Ottawa Citizen reports. The additional seven jets will be used for spare parts, according to a Department of National Defence spokesman. It is unclear if the aircraft will be flown to Canada or shipped.
Negotiations for the 25 aircraft are still underway, so the total cost of the procurement has not been finalized. However, Ottawa has allocated up to CAD500 million ($377 million) for the purchase.
The deal will require approval from the United States due to the transfer of American technology, which is not expected to be an issue. A DND official said he expects a deal in place by the end of the year, with deliveries beginning in summer 2019. The government originally planned for the aircraft to arrive in January 2019.
At one point, Canada had planned to buy 18 new Super Hornets from Boeing, but that deal fell through over a separate commercial aircraft trade dispute involving the Bombardier C-Series.