News Column


January 23, 2014

OTTAWA - French aircraft maker Dassault Aviation says the Rafale fighter it's touting as a replacement for Canada's fleet of CF-18 fighters has been proven in war.

In 2006, the Canadian air force dismissed the Rafale as a CF-18 replacement, citing concerns about the aircraft's ability to operate alongside the Americans.

But Dassault official Yves Robins says the jet flew seamlessly with U-S fighters during the 2011 Libya bombing campaign.

Dassault is offering the Harper government lower long-term support costs if it picks the Rafale, including the unrestricted transfer of technology, such as software source codes for servicing the planes.

That could shave hundreds of millions of dollars off the life-time price tag to operate and upgrade the fighter.

The government has put plans to buy 65 Lockheed Martin F-35's on hold and is asking for detailed proposals from rival aircraft makers.

But no decision has been made on whether there will be a full competition to pick a successor to the existing CF-18's.

(The Canadian Press)

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Source: Canadian Press Broadcast Wire (Canada)

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