The Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence, today highlighted the Government of Canada’s successful ongoing efforts to renew the Canadian Forces in remarks to members of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI). In his speech, Minister Fantino highlighted Canada’s ongoing participation in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program.
“The multinational Joint Strike Fighter Program represents a new model for international cooperation and development,” said Minister Fantino. “Our historic efforts to renew the Canadian Forces include participating with our allies to develop a new state-of-the-art aircraft for the 21st century.”
The Government of Canada’s decision to modernize its current CF-18 fleet ensures the Canadian Forces the necessary flexibility to transition to the replacement aircraft that will be required to protect our airspace beginning in the early 2020s. Our Government has set a budget for replacement aircraft and has been clear that we will operate within that budget. A contract for replacement aircraft has not yet been signed.
“The Royal Canadian Air Force plays a vital role in protecting our airspace and sovereignty, as well as defending our interests internationally,” said Minister Fantino. “Our flexible plans ensure that our Air Force will continue to have the aircraft necessary to do the job we ask of them.”
As a result of our decision to participate in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program, skilled Canadian workers continue to benefit from hundreds of millions of dollars in additional work that otherwise would not have existed. Since 1997, our participation has already resulted in contracts worth $435 million to the Canadian aerospace industry that employs nearly 80,000 Canadian workers.
“Our Government is proud of its responsible approach to replacing our aging CF-18 aircraft,” added Minister Fantino.