Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Canada to host meetings on controversial stealth fighter jets

  • Print

OTTAWA -- Canada has convened two days of international meetings in Washington next week to discuss problems around the controversial F-35 stealth fighter jet program.

The meeting comes as Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Gen. Walt Natynczyk, chief of the defence staff, both affirmed Canada's plan to buy a fleet of F-35 stealth fighter jets at a high-profile military event Friday.

Controversy has surrounded the F-35 procurement as the plane's manufacturer, the U.S. defence giant Lockheed Martin, and the Pentagon move to restructure the program for a third time.

Canada is part of a joint effort to buy the planes along with Britain, Norway, Denmark, Holland, Italy, Turkey and Australia.

Canada has been trying to set up a meeting of partner countries in advance of a scheduled meeting with Lockheed Martin set for later in March.

A well-placed Defence Department source confirmed Friday two days of talks are set for next Thursday and Friday in Washington. The talks are expected to take place at the Canadian Embassy.

Canada proposed the meeting "to address common issues," said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the procurement.

Ahead of that, MacKay and Natynczyk used a major gathering of defence insiders, analysts, diplomats and business executives to reiterate the government's support to purchase a fleet of F-35 to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18 jetfighters.

MacKay and Natynczyk made their pledges before an audience of hundreds at a major military conference in Ottawa.

MacKay also said the Harper government won't pay a penny more than budgeted for the fleet of 65 stealth fighter jets.

"We have been clear that we will operate within that budget," he said in a speech to the Conference of Defence Associations annual meeting.

"And we will give our air men and women the best available aircraft, which I believe is the fifth-generation, F-35 Lightning II."

The comment elicited a smattering of applause.

Natynczyk said in his speech the fighter pilots who returned from Italy after flying in the NATO mission in support of Libya told him they want to fly the F-35.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 25, 2012 A20

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Gary Lawless & Ed Tait try not to bleeping cry over the woesome Jets

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Goslings enjoy Fridays warm weather to soak up some sun and gobble some grass on Heckla Ave in Winnipeg Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 DAY goose challenge - May 18, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A mother goose has chosen a rather busy spot to nest her eggs- in the parking lot of St Vital Centre on a boulevard. Countless cars buzz by and people have begun to bring it food.-Goose Challenge Day 06 - May 08, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

What's your favourite Halloween treat to hand out?

View Results

Ads by Google