It has been officially announced by the federal Conservative government that it has given up the deal of purchasing new fighter jets, and is now going to begin from square one in its hunt of new fighter jet to replace the aging CF-18 Hornets. It was revealed by the authorities that Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets actually cost more than $600 million each for operating over their lifespan.
The idea of purchasing F-35 fighter jets was being highly criticized by the opposition, parliamentary budget officer and the auditor general from quite some now. Finally today, the Conservative cabinet ministers declared that they will start the search from scratch once again. Public Works Minister, Rona Ambrose, alleged that “we have hit the reset button and are taking the time to do a complete assessment of all available aircraft.”
The government has now promised to keep the budget of buying new fighter jets less than $9 billion, although a separate cost analysis disclosed that Ottawa might have assigned as much as $602 million in reserve funds for covering up any unexpected price hikes. But having said that, it is still much less than the recommended contingency fund of $2.5 billion, the analysis by the accounting firm KPMG says. The analysis points out that “Department of National Defense has advised that their risk mitigation strategy … is to reduce the number of aircraft acquired.” It stated that “this could reduce the initial fleet to as low as 55 aircraft, which is below DND’s current stated requirements.”
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