Acquisition Of Fighter Jets: Bulgaria, India Beat Canada

Canada has expressed serious concern over Bulgaria and India’s decision to purchase new fighter jets in next two years.
Speaking at an event in Ottawa over the weekend, defence critic of the Conservative Party James Bezan said it was unfortunate that India and Bulgaria launched competitions to buy new fighter jets. According to Bezan, Canada, too, is acquiring fighter jets from foreign countries, but only to replace its aging fleet of CF-18s. He also said that while Canada plans to complete the process in 10 years, Bulgaria and India decide to complete it in just two years.
Bezan told the media that the speedy purchase of much-needed jets by the two countries raised questions about their intension. He met the press just four days after India announced that it would choose a supplier for 200 planes and call a tender in 2018 so that a deal could be signed with the supplier by the end of 2020. Earlier, Bulgaria made a similar announcement, seeking bids for up to eight jets. The Bulgarian government said that winning bid for that programme would be selected in 2018.
On the contrary, the Canadian government has decided to call a tender by the end of 2020 and complete the process of replacing its ageing CF-18s by 2032. “There is no reason why any competition should take that long. Most of the work is already done and the capabilities of various planes are already known,” stressed Bezan. He slammed the Canadian military for taking seven years to examine potential replacement candidates.
Former head (procurement) of the Canadian government’s Department of National Defence Alan Williams, too, backed Bezan’s view and questioned Ottawa’s decision to purchase Super Hornets for an “interim” role despite having significant amount of information on various fighter jets.
However, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan has defended the military’s decision, saying that the lengthy period was required to ensure the proper choice is made. According to the minister, the Liberals will try to find a permanent replacement for the CF-18s as soon as possible. Earlier, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made clear that his government would never acquire the F-35 stealth fighter jets.


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