So, do we need the best jet fighter in the world? Or are we better off buying an updated version of a proven aircraft, perhaps the one we already own and fly? Or should we look abroad, to a country similar to ours, the same scale, and with many of the same global aspirations and responsibilities? Perhaps they know something about aircraft we don’t.
After all, in what deserts will Canada be fighting its wars? What ground targets are we ever going to find ourselves striking? And why do we want a stealthy aircraft, when the point of sovereignty patrolling is to let the other guy know you’re there?
Costs for 65 F35s, including pilot training and 20 years of maintenance and spare parts, are estimated at $16 billion total. Sweden has offered the same number of Gripens for $12 billion total. The $4 billion we could save by buying a jet fighter uniquely suited to Canada’s needs could pay for, what? A national day care program? A national home care training program? A down payment on a national pharmacare program? An increase in the GIS/OAS?
No, Canada probably doesn’t need the best fighter jet in the world.
Keywords: aircraft, costs