ROB Nicholson, Conservative critic for Procurement and Public Services, and James Bezan, Conservative critic for National Defence, on Wednesday slammed the Liberal government’s proposed purchase of 25 used, 40-year-old F-18 Hornets from Australia.
Reacting to the news that the United States had approved the sale of the aircraft to Canada, they said in a statement: “This Liberal government’s determination to saddle the Canadian Armed Forces with substandard equipment is simply unfathomable.
“Australia’s Auditor General has reported these jets are subject to structural fatigue, increased maintenance costs, and corrosion. That same report also indicated that ‘using the (F-18 Hornet) fleet beyond 2020 may well require an expanded, and hence more costly, safety-by-inspection regime, structural modifications and capability upgrades.’
“[Prime Minister] Justin Trudeau’s decision to purchase these outdated planes has not only let the CAF down, but will compromise the sovereignty and security of our nation.
“Conservatives call upon this Liberal Government to do the right thing for the Canadian Armed Forces and immediately launch, as was promised three years ago, a fair and open competition to ensure the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force have a modern replacement for our CF-18s. The protection of our country requires no less.”