In December, Canada announced it was considering alternatives to the long-planned purchase of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet, in part because of the quickly rising expense of the American aircraft. In an email interview, Srdjan Vucetic, an assistant professor at the University of Ottawa specializing in Canadian and American foreign and defense policy, discussed the foreign policy implications for Canada of considering alternatives to the F-35.
WPR: How seriously is Canada considering aircraft other than the F-35, and what are the main contenders?
Srdjan Vucetic: According to the Public Works and Government Services Canada, the department that in April 2012 took over the new fighter procurement process from the Department of National Defense (DND), Ottawa is now flirting with the idea of buying the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, the French-made Dassault Rafale, the Swiss-made Saab Gripen NG or the Eurofighter Typhoon, made by a British-German-Italian consortium. The F-35 is still in the game, of course.