Five Reasons to Reconsider the F-35

Kenneth Epps Conventional Weapons, Defence & Human Security

Briefing 12-1

Kenneth Epps

In the face of a daily barrage of critical media reports on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program, the Canadian government has adamantly stood by its 2010 decision to purchase 65 of these aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force. But cracks in the edifice are starting to appear. Canada participated in two March meetings of F-35 partner states to review the troubled program. The Cabinet minister responsible for military equipment purchases, Julian Fantino, recently suggested that Canada may yet back out of the program (CBC News 2012). In the hope that these developments indicate that the government is willing to pause before signing a contract, this paper offers five reasons—arguably in ascending order of importance—why the purchase should be reconsidered.

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