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Deal finalised for Canada’s purchase of Australian fighter jets

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Canada has committed to the purchase of 25 F-18 aircraft from Australia, with the first fighter expected to be operating within the next six months.

Eighteen of the jets will fly for the Canadian forces, with the other seven to be used for testing and spare parts. The deal is worth $90 million for the fighters alone, with nearly a $500 million overall commitment in the sale.

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"The first two aircraft will be here this spring," Pat Finn, assistant deputy minister for materiel at Canada's Department of National Defence, said.

"I would say it could be by the summer the first couple are on the flight line and painted with the maple leaf," Finn added. 

The extra $410 million will be used to cover additional spare parts, outfitting of the jets with specific Canadian equipment, contingency funds, salaries for personnel involved with the project, upgrades to communications equipment, as well as new infrastructure to accommodate the aircraft.

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said the extra jets are needed to deal with a 'capability gap', arguing that the country does not have enough fighters to handle its commitments to NATO as well as protecting North America.

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The sale is due to Canada cancelling plans to purchase 18 new Super Hornets from the US, after Quebec-based company Bombardier was hit with an enormous tariff to sell its aircraft in the US.

That deal would have cost more than $5 billion.

Deal finalised for Canada’s purchase of Australian fighter jets
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