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The F-35 fighter jet has been beset by problems over the past few years, from numerous delays to issues with target tracking and weapon firing.
In fact, the Canadian government under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has repeatedly vowed to cancel the purchase of the controversial fighter jet.
Now, the country has announced plans to purchase 18 older Super Hornet fighter jets as an “interim measure”, CBC reports, putting the country closer to officially cancelling the order.
The country’s defence ministry has also called for an “open and transparent” competition to select a replacement for the CF-18 jets. According to Popular Mechanics, the replacement won’t be the F-35.
The F-35 fighter jet has experienced a ton of problems, with Canada pushing hard for an exit
The new competition will result in the CF-18’s retirement being pushed from the original 2025 date, ostensibly forcing the government to acquire the Super Hornet to augment the CF-18s.
“That means we must continue to fly the legacy CF-18s throughout the 2020s, no matter what,” Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan was quoted as saying by CBC.
The Super Hornet offers a host of improvements over the CF-18 and standard F/A-18 design, including a better radar system, compatibility with helmet-mounted cueing systems (allowing the pilot to essentially look at a target to lock onto it) and larger displays.
Nevertheless, Lockheed-Martin insists that the F-35 is the best plane for the job.
“Although disappointed with this decision, we remain confident the F-35 is the best solution to meet Canada’s operational requirements at the most affordable price, and the F-35 has proven in all competitions to be lower in cost than fourth-generation competitors,” the company was quoted as saying by the Canadian publication.