Liberals set to launch talks to buy F-35 fighter jets: CP sources

The Liberal government is expected to announce today that it will begin final negotiations on the purchase of the F-35 fighter jet.

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

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

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

If the negotiations fail, the government reserves the possibility of starting talks with Saab, whose Gripen fighter came second behind the F-35 in the competition.

Canada plans to purchase 88 new fighter jets to replace its CF-18s. The government has earmarked up to $19 billion for the purchase.