OTTAWA (Dow Jones)--The Canadian government is buying 65 Joint Strike Fighter F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), an investment valued at about C$9 billion (US$8.7 billion), Defense Minister Peter MacKay said Friday.CTV and the Liberals are trying to make hay out of the "lack of a competitive process" in this deal.
He said Canada will begin taking delivery of the first aircraft in 2016.
"This is one of the largest defense procurement projects in the history of Canada," MacKay said at a joint news conference with Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose and Industry Minister Tony Clement.
Of course, Canada was an early participant in the JSF program. The JSF program included a R&D/testng process that resulted in Lockheed beating Boeing for the next-gen fighter. In other works, there was a competitive process, one that we were financially involved in since the beginning. Why would we then abandon this effort when the actual procurement phase comes up? Why are the Liberals so clueless in military matters?
On an unrelated note, are Ambrose and MacKay an item?
She was with him at this F-35 announcement in Ottawa.
She was with him at the announcement of building new support ships for the Navy on Wednesday.
Here they are sexily shoveling together announcing a new RCMP headquarters.
Here they are again last week announcing an upgrade to the LAV III fleet.
Something we should be keeping an eye on? Tony Clement was present for 2 of the 4 engagements, and his department has way more to do with these military contracts than Ambrose's.