The Harper government has decided to upgrade Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s to buy a little time while it tries to sort out its blunder over the F-35.
Sources said the changes in the eligible options make it easier for
manufacturers to propose a “mixed fleet” of upgraded CF-18s and other
fighter jets, or a later delivery of new jets as the CF-18s fly beyond
their planned phase-out.
The new proposal is the latest shift of
position by the Harper government after last year’s highly critical
report by Auditor-General on a planned sole-sourced purchase of 65 F-35
It's now rumoured that Harper wants to duck the CF-18 replacement problem entirely until after the 2015 election. That should ensure those CF-18s will be the backbone of Canada's air defences long after they were due to retire.