Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 21, 2012 11:56 ET

Minister Fantino Welcomes Announcement That United States Renews Support for Development of F-35 Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing Variant

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Jan. 21, 2012) - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Canada's Associate Minister of National Defence, welcomes United States Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's announcement that the United States is renewing support for the development of the F-35 Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (F-35B) variant.

"Yesterday's announcement is welcome news for Canada and our allies' participation in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter development program," said Minister Fantino. "We are contributing to the development of a new, state-of-the-art aircraft that the Royal Canadian Air Force agrees gives them the best probability of success for many years to come."

While Canada is not purchasing this particular variant of F-35 aircraft, the Government of Canada's decision to participate in the multinational Joint Strike Fighter program allows Canadian aerospace workers to benefit from additional work in development of all three variants.

For example, on Thursday, Minister Fantino helped mark an important production milestone at Avcorp Industries in Delta, British Columbia, whose workers celebrated the crating of Canadian manufactured outboard wings for the F-35C variant being purchased by the United Kingdom and the United States.

"Canada's decision to participate in the Joint Strike Fighter Program is resulting in additional opportunities for Canadian workers that otherwise would not have existed," said Minister Fantino. "Our government's decision ensures skilled Canadian workers' world-class expertise is having a direct impact on supporting our country's long tradition of contributing to international stability alongside our allies."

Some 65 Canadian companies have already received approximately US$370 million in contracts related to the development and early production of F-35 parts and subsystems. This is nearly a two-to-one return on Canada's investment in the JSF Program to date.

"Canada is not simply acquiring a fighter jet - we are a partner in a multinational effort to develop and field a fighter jet suited for the 21st century," the Minister said.

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