Canada also chose the F-35. Eighty-eight aircraft by 2032

Yesterday, writes Defense News, Canada announced its intention to purchase 88 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters for a commercial value of 14 billion US dollars.

The Minister of Defense Anita Anand stated in an online briefing that the Royal Canadian Air Force it will receive its first four Lockheed Martin-manufactured F-35s in 2026, with the next six in 2027 and six more in 2028. The rest will arrive in subsequent years.

Anita Anand

The fifth-generation fighters will replace Canada's current fleet of CF-18 Hornets, the Royal Canadian Air Force's version of the F/A-18, Anand said. Canada expects the entire F-35 fleet to be delivered by the end of 2032.

Anand said Canada has procured Australian F/A-18 fighters to supplement its CF-18s in the meantime. Canada plans to upgrade its CF-18s as part of the Hornet Extension Project, to allow them to go as far as 2032.

Anand said this purchase is the largest investment for the Air Force in the past three decades. This is necessary, said the minister, given the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the "increasingly assertive behavior of China in the Indo-Pacific”.

"The F-35 is a modern, reliable and agile fighter aircraft used by our closest allies on missions around the worldAnand said. “It is the most advanced fighter on the market and it is the right aircraft for our country”.

"Canada is our friend and a close ally,” commented the US Air Force lieutenant general, Mike Schmidt, the program executive officer for the F-35 Joint Program Office. “The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unparalleled interoperability with America, Canada and the other 15 nations that have selected the fighter. It is a global turning point. Through power projection, the F-35 is at the spearhead for deterrence. His forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict.".

"We are honored that the Government of Canada has selected the F-35 and look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian Defense Industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft. ", he has declared Bridget Lauderdale, vice president and general manager for Lockheed's F-35 program. “The selection of the F-35 strengthens Allied air power in Canada, North America and around the world.

Canadian Defense Minister Anand acknowledged that Canada's colder temperatures create a "unique" operating environment and said the F-35 was selected after a "powerful" decision-making process that factored into weather conditions. The lessons Norway gained in flying the fighter were important, as was the United States' experience in flying it in Alaska.

Canada will ensure that its F-35s have the capability to land on "short, icy, wet Arctic runways," Anand said, and that its fighters have northward navigation capabilities to allow them to fly into the Arctic.

Anand said Canada would build facilities for operational and training flight groups, including simulator training and maintenance zones. The identified bases are Bagotville in Quebec and Cold Lake in Alberta.

Anand also said Canada is investing in a series of infrastructure upgrades nationwide to better support the North American Aerospace Defense Command and F-35 operations.

“Together, these projects will strengthen our military edge to protect Canadians and create economic opportunity for our country,” Anand said.

He also added that the F-35 acquisition and initial maintenance could contribute more than C$425 million annually to the local economy, as well as create nearly 3.300 jobs annually over 25 years.

Companies in Canada have already secured nearly $3 billion from the country's participation in the F-35 program, Anand said, which will grow further as Canada increases its participation.

Canada also chose the F-35. Eighty-eight aircraft by 2032

| Economics, EVIDENCE 3 |