October 30, 2015 David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen
All eyes will be on the new Liberal government to see how they withdraw from the F-35 program.
How much has Canada spent on the F-35?
Canada has been a participant in the Joint Strike Fighter Program since 1997 and has spent US $309.3 million to date to participate in the program, Jessica Kingsbury, a spokeswoman for Public Works and Government Services tells Defence Watch.
The figure is broken down as follows:
- Concept demonstration phase (1997 to 2001)—Canada has contributed approximately US$10.6 million;
- System development and demonstration phase (SDD) (2001 to 2018)—Canada has contributed approximately US$94.4 million to date;
- Production, sustainment, and follow-on development phase (2006 to 2051)—Canada has contributed approximately US$204.3 million to date.
- Public Works could not provide current information on Canadian firms involved in the F-35. But a 2014 government update noted a little more than 30 Canadian firms have active contracts. They have secured contracts worth $637 million US.
The F-35 became a major political headache several years ago for the Conservatives. Although the Liberal government originally signed on to a research and development program for the plane, the Conservatives significantly expanded commitment and later agreed to the purchase 65 of the planes.
The purchase was later put on temporarily on hold by the Conservatives after concerns were raised about the cost of the F-35 and how the procurement process was handled.
During the election campaign Justin Trudeau promised to withdraw Canada from the F-35 program if the Liberals formed the government.