Clock ticking on US offer for Boeing made Super Hornet fighters

Price could go up and later delivery for 18 Super Hornets and associated weapons and equipment.

A US Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet.
Photo: Rob Taber, USAF

OTTAWA — The Trudeau government has until the end of the year to decide on an offer for Super Hornet fighter jets, which remain on the table despite recent escalations in the bitter feud with aerospace giant Boeing.

The US government delivered a formal offer to sell the Boeing-made planes to Canada last month, after the Liberals said they were urgently needed to address a shortage of CF-18s.

But sources tell The Canadian Press that the offer for 18 Super Hornets and associated weapons and equipment, at an estimated cost of more than $6 billion, is only good until the end of the year.

The government can ask for an extension, but there is no guarantee it will be granted.

And while the U.S. could end up making a new offer if the current one expires, there is a risk that the price will go up or the planes will have to be delivered later than the government wants.

The Liberals say they are still considering whether to buy Super Hornets despite Boeing’s trade dispute with Canadian rival Bombardier, but are also looking at used fighter jets from Australia.

News from © Canadian Press Enterprises Inc. 2016

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