By: David Pugliese, Defence Watch
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced on Nov. 22, 2016 that the Liberal government would move ahead with the purchase of a permanent fleet to replace the CF-18s. This is in addition to the acquisition of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets in the interim to deal with what Sajjan claims is a capability gap.
How far along is the process on the acquisition for the permanent fleet?
This statement was recently filed in Parliament by the Department of National Defence:
“The requirements have been reviewed to ensure the Government of Canada acquires the right aircraft for Canada. A new Statement of Operational Requirement (SOR} was developed by the Future Fighter Capability Project staff to reflect Government policy. The revised requirements were derived by examining the current and potential roles and missions the fleet could be asked to fulfill. The new SOR was signed by the Commander of the RCAF on 15 September, 2016.”
So a SOR is ready and signed off, the first major step in a getting a new jet. Drawing up draft request for proposals and then the final request for proposals should quickly follow.
But don’t expect that to happen, say DND sources.
The Liberal government intends to drag this out as long as possible, they added.