The Canadian government has submitted an expression of interest to buy used Boeing F/A-18 Hornet fighter jets from Australia amidst a trade dispute with the United States.
"Canada expects to receive a response by the end of this year that will provide details regarding the availability and cost of the aircraft and associated parts that Canada is considering," the Canadian government said in a statement yesterday.
Australia is replacing its fleet of 71 F/A-18A/B Hornet jets with 72 fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II aircraft from 2018 onwards.
The Australian government and Canada began discussions to assess the potential sale of F/A-18 fighter aircraft and associated parts earlier this year.
The Canadian government has now confirmed that on 29 September it submitted an expression of interest, formally marking Canada’s interest in the Australian equipment, various reports said.
Last year, Canada announced plans to buy 18 Super Hornets as an interim solution for replacing a subset of the CF-18 Hornet fleet due for retirement within five years, but talks with Boeing over the planned acquisition were suspended by Canada after Boeing accused Bombardier in April of dumping its jet into the US market after receiving unfair subsidies from the Canadian government.
Matters worsened in recent months with the US Commerce Department recently levying a 219 per cent tariff on Bombardier’s CS100 sale to Delta Air Lines.
Earlier, Canada pulled out from a planned F-35 fighter jet purchase citing budgetary issues. A section of Canadian politicians have voiced against overspending on military acquisitions since the country does not face any direct threats.