LONDON – The Canadian government announced on the 9th of January that it will procure 88 5th generation F-35A Lightning II fighter jets as global geopolitical threats rise. The F-35 is seen as the inevitable winner of the Future Fighter Capability Project competition.
The Royal Canadian Air Force is set to take delivery of 88 F-35A Lockheed Martin multirole 5th generation stealth fighter jets, used by numerous allied countries around the world.
The Trudeau administration sees the U.S made fighter jet as the most sustained solution which will cater to the objectives of the Canadian military in protecting the country’s interests and better-supporting allies in times of threat.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Mike Schmidt, program executive officer of, the F-35 Joint Program Office said: “Canada is our friend and a close ally. Their decision to procure almost 90 jets underscores the value of the incredible F-35 Lightning II.”
General Schmidt further praised the F35 aircraft, saying: “The F-35 is the best in the world, providing unmatched interoperability to America, Canada and the additional 15 nations that have selected the fighter.”
“It is a global game-changer. Through power projection, the F-35 is at the tip of the spear for deterrence. Its forward presence will continue to ensure that potential adversaries choose diplomacy over armed conflict.”
Joining the allied bandwagon
Canada now joins a group of countries operating the F-35, which appears to be a lucrative club to be in. Bridget Lauderdale, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and general manager of the F-35 program stated:
“We are honoured the Government of Canada has selected the F-35, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Canadian defence industry to deliver and sustain the aircraft.”
“The selection of F-35 strengthens allied airpower in Canada, North America and around the world.”
With Canada now operating the F-35, this makes the allied or the ‘western-centric’ military pole stronger than ever. The 5th generation fighter jet will also strengthen the country’s operation and data-sharing capability with its allies.
This spells an important milestone for mission interoperation with both NATO and NORAD. 5th generation tech is becoming more inevitable and a critical puzzle in 21st-century military technology and security apparatus.
The F-35A permits pilots better situational awareness and helps them better prepare for the unexpected.
Lorraine Ben, chief executive, Lockheed Martin Canada said: “Together with our Canadian industry partners, we are honoured by this selection and the sustainment of critical jobs that will continue to equip Canadian workforces with advanced skills,”
She furthered, “The F-35 program yields tremendous economic benefits for Canada’s aerospace and defence industry, and we look forward to continued growth.”
After the delivery of the first F-35 to Canada, the country will join a group of elite countries operating the F-35 from 27 bases globally.
According to f35.com, there are more than 890 such 5th-generation fighter jets in service. There are currently more than 1,870 qualified pilots on the F35 type rating.
With rising tensions in Asia and Europe, the F-35 is a proven fighter jet amongst allied nations in stemming their presence on the global geopolitical stage. Canada is one of the last NATO country members to commit to the F-35 aircraft.