Liberals expected to launch negotiations to buy F-35 fighter jets: CP sources

The Liberal government is expected to announce today that it will enter into final negotiations on purchasing the F-35 fighter jet.

Government and industry sources have told The Canadian Press the negotiations with manufacturer Lockheed Martin will be announced at a news conference this afternoon.

The sources spoke on the condition they not be named because they were not authorized to comment publicly.

While this doesn’t mean a deal to purchase the stealth fighter is officially done, it does mean Canada is on the verge of finally choosing a replacement for its aging CF-18s.

Should negotiations fall through, the government retains the option to enter into talks with Saab, whose Gripen fighter came second to the F-35 in the competition.

Canada is planning to buy 88 new fighter jets to replace its CF-18s. The government budgeted up to $19 billion for the purchase.

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