Canada officially buying F-35 fighter jet for $19 billion

OTTAWA — Defence Minister Anita Anand says Canada is officially buying the F-35 fighter jet to replace its aging CF-18s, ending the years-long search where it first began.

Canada had announced plans to buy the F-35 back in 2010, before politics and government mismanagement scuttled that decision.

The government says Canada will ultimately buy 88 F-35s at an estimated cost of $19 billion, with the first aircraft to be delivered in 2026.

The Canadian Press reported last month that the Defence Department had been authorized to spend $7 billion on an initial set of 16 F-35s and associated gear.

Officials confirmed in a briefing today that Canada will buy all 88 F-35s in a phased approach, with the initial investment including infrastructure upgrades, spare parts and other one-time costs.

Canada is expected to pay US$85 million per F-35, which officials say is the same price as the United States.