OTTAWA — The U.S. Congress has approved the potential sale of 18 Super Hornet fighter jets to Canada, with a price tag estimated at US$5.23 billion.
The figure includes weapons, spare parts, training, software and other costs associated with putting the jets into service, but does not appear to include long-term maintenance and support.
The Canadian government had been waiting for congressional approval and an estimated cost so it could move ahead on plans to acquire the planes to bolster Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s.
But the sale has been thrown into limbo because of the bitter trade dispute between Boeing, the U.S. aerospace giant that makes the Super Hornets, and Montreal-based Bombardier.
Congress says selling the Super Hornets to Canada would contribute to the U.S. government's foreign policy and national security objectives.
It also says the sale would improve Canada's ability to meet current and future threats and that the Canadian military would have no problems absorbing the new aircraft.
The Canadian Press