Canada on Monday announced plans to buy 88 F-35A Lightning II stealth jets for CA$19 billion ($14 billion).
“Canada is acquiring a new fleet of eighty-eight, state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jets, through an agreement that we have finalized with the United States government and Lockheed Martin with Pratt and Whitney,” Defense Minister Anita Anand said in an online briefing.
The new fighter jets will replace Canada’s current fleet of CF-18 Hornets.
“Canada’s new fleet of 88 jets is being acquired in tranches – starting with an initial tranche of 16,” added the minister.
Royal Canadian Air Force looks to the first scheduled deliveries beginning in 2026 and will ensure the effectiveness of the CF-18 fleet during the transition to the F-35, out to 2032.
The F-35 is a modern, reliable, and agile fighter aircraft used by Canadian closest allies in missions across the globe.
“It is the most advanced fighter on the market, and it is the right aircraft for Canada,” Anand said.
Just announced today: the F-35 will be Canada’s future fighter aircraft! This positive step forward will allow us to enforce Canada’s sovereignty as outlined in Canada’s Defence Policy and meet Canada’s NORAD and NATO commitments for decades to come. pic.twitter.com/ISyuljXXOd
— Royal Canadian Air Force (@RCAF_ARC) January 9, 2023