Canada to choose new fighter jets in coming weeks

Weapons are loaded onto a CF-18 Hornet fighter jet belonging to the Canadian 410 'Couger' Squadron at Naval Air Facility El Centro on November 4, 2009 near El Centro, CaliforniaThe Canadian government said Thursday it will choose one of four fighter jets in competition to replace its aging fleet of CF-18s “in the coming weeks.” Critics, however, contend the procurement process — which was reset in 2012 amid complaints of several manufacturers being shut out of it — is rigged in favor of the American Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet. Over the past 14 months, an independent review panel compiled the costs, capabilities and weaknesses of Boeing’s F-18 Super Hornet, the Eurofighter Typhoon, Dassault’s Rafale and the F-35. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said this week his cabinet would now review the panel’s report, which has not been made public.

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