According to government insiders, the Canadian government has chosen Lockheed Martin’s F-35 as the preferred offering in its competition to purchase a new fighter plane.
Canada intends to purchase 88 new fighter planes to replace its CF-18s. The government has set aside around CA$19 billion (US $15 billion) for the acquisition.
According to Procurement Minister Filomena Tassi, Lockheed Martin is the highest-ranked bidder.
If a deal is achieved, the first aircraft would be delivered in 2025. If a deal cannot be reached, the government may negotiate with Saab, whose Gripen fighter finished second to the F-35 in the competition.
Canada and the United States have a tight connection, which includes the use of fighter planes to defend North American airspace.
Canada earlier ruled out the Super Hornet from Boeing.
A previous Conservative Canadian government announced the acquisition of the F-35, but the current Liberal administration postponed the decision and opened the bidding process to competition.