09/06/2017 15:08 EDT | Updated 09/06/2017 15:08 EDT

Canada Should Buy Australia's Old Fighter Jets, Retired Generals Say

Canadian officials recently visited Australia to look at them.

The Canadian Press
Tom Lawson is one of three retired air force generals urging Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's government to buy Australia's old fighter instead of purchasing new ones from Boeing.

OTTAWA — Three retired air force generals say buying used fighter jets from Australia is a much better plan for Canada than purchasing new Super Hornets from Boeing.

Tom Lawson, Andre Deschamps and Kenneth Pennie say Australia's old F-18s will need modifications to operate alongside Canada's CF-18s, but that would cost a lot less than brand-new Super Hornets.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's office says Canadian officials recently visited Australia to look at that country's used F-18s, which are being sold and replaced by F-35 stealth fighters.

Revelations of the visit come as the war between the federal government and Super Hornet maker Boeing Co. — over the latter's trade dispute with Montreal-based Bombardier — has reached new levels.

Boeing says it won't drop its complaint to the U.S. Commerce Department that Bombardier sold passenger jets to U.S. airline Delta at an unfairly low price with help from government subsidies.

During a frank phone call Tuesday with the governor of Missouri, where the Super Hornets are built, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in turn accused Boeing of receiving billions in subsidies.

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