August 31, 2017 3:13 pm

Feds know how much buying fighter jets will cost, but won’t reveal the price

18F Super Hornet approaches to land on-board the USS Ronald Reagan in the Coral Sea, 650 km off the coast from Brisbane, Australia.

Dave Hunt/EPA via CP
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OTTAWA — The Defence Department’s chief financial officer says the federal government has a good idea how much buying and operating 18 Super Hornet fighter jets on an interim basis will cost.

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But Claude Rochette says he can’t reveal the numbers because the government still hasn’t officially decided whether to go ahead with the purchase.

Questions about the cost of the planes have figured prominently since the Liberals announced their plan to buy the Super Hornets last November, with critics calling it a waste of money.

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Some public estimates have pegged the figure at around $2 billion just to buy the planes, and several more billion to maintain and operate them.

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Rochette says the necessary funding has since been included in the Liberal government’s new defence policy, which promised an extra $62 billion for the military over the next 20 years.

Critics have said the government should cancel the Super Hornet purchase and run a full competition to replace Canada’s aging CF-18 fighters.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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