Mark Collins – New Canadian Government Creates “Future Fighter Capability project” (no F-35?)

Further to these posts,

F-35, or, Canadian National Fighter Procurement Secretariat Gone Poof– New Government’s Turn

New Canadian Defence Minister’s Mandate: End Anti-ISIS Combat, F-35, UN Peacekeeping, Ships, Budget
[see first comment]

the Liberals have started with a bit of bureaucratic, er, re-branding:

Government sets up new office to buy replacement aircraft for CF-18s

The federal government has started taking action on a Liberal promise to dump the F-35 stealth fighter and purchase a cheaper aircraft to replace the military’s CF-18 jets.

Public Services and Procurement Canada has created a new office to oversee the purchase. Paula Folkes-Dallaire, a senior public servant from the Fisheries department, is slated to start Monday as senior director of the Future Fighter Capability project, sources told the Citizen.

So far, three employees are on the Public Services and Procurement team but it is unclear how large it will eventually become.

Industry representatives say they expect the federal cabinet to look at the fighter aircraft replacement in early December and provide more details on how bureaucrats are to proceed.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said his government will withdraw from the U.S.-led F-35 fighter jet program and instead hold a competition for a less expensive aircraft to replace the military’s CF-18s [but see: “F-35 and Canadian Election: Liberals Loose With Fighter Costs“].

“The team will work closely with National Defence and [with the Department of] Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada [formerly just Industry Canada] to implement the government’s direction,” Michèle LaRose, a spokeswoman from Public Services and Procurement Canada, said in an email to the Citizen…

The Royal Canadian Air Force will co-ordinate with the Public Services and Procurement department on the new fighter jet and will be required to come up with a statement of requirements for the planes. The procurement branch at the DND will also assist the RCAF and be involved in the withdrawal from the F-35 program. There is no timeline yet for the withdrawal [emphasis added].

A Lockheed Martin spokeswoman said Canada continues to be a partner in the F-35 program. But the Liberal government isn’t expected to deviate from its plan to buy a cheaper alternative to the F-35

But see my musing here:

Canadian Election: ISIS, the F-35, Justin Trudeau and POTUS

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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