Through a formal notification published to Congress, the U.S. State Department expressed it doesn’t have any qualms over the potential sale of 18 Super Hornets to Canada. The contract would cost an estimated 5.23 billion USD that amounts closer to 6.37 billion CAD.
This price tag is inclusive of the weapons, software, training, spare parts, and other relevant costs associated with getting the jets ready for service. Hangar upgrades, maintenance, and long-term support are not included.
The Liberals expressed their wish to buy the Super Hornet fighter jets to shore up the aging fleet of CF-18s in the Royal Canadian Air Force last year. However, even if the Congress gives the deal a go-ahead, there is no assurance of the fact that the Trudeau government will actually purchase the Super Hornets from the US.
The U.S. State Department issued a notification, which highlighted the fact that the purchase of Super could “improve Canada’s capability to meet current and future warfare threats and provide greater security for its critical infrastructure.”
It further expressed that the contract doesn’t pose any threats that could “alter the basic military balance in the region” and that the Canadian military can easily operate the Super Hornets together with their CF-18s without trouble.
It was back in November 2016 that the Liberals mentioned their plans of purchasing 18 Super Hornets to overcome the fighter jet shortage provisionally, until they can run a full replacement of the entire CF-18 fleet of the Royal Canadian Air Force starting 2019.
However, according to the office of Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan, the Liberals are not likely to take any decisions on the purchase of these jets until they receive a formal proposal for it from the U.S. government.
In an email, the Defence Ministry spokesperson Jordan Owen also said, “…at that time, we will be better positioned to assess how we can best meet the Royal Canadian Air Force’s needs.”