Boeing seeks to address F/A-18 problems

According to the published figures, 31 incidents (per 100,000 flying hours) were recorded from November 2015 to October 2016, three times that of the frequency reported in 2010-11.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Boeing vice-president of global sales Roberto Valla said Canadian officials raised the issue with the company but that Boeing's "commitment to work with the United States Navy to resolve this matter is an unwavering commitment.”

Last month saw a letter of request (LOR) issued by the Canadian government to the US for the procurement of 18 of the aircraft as the process moves forward to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force's ageing CF-18 fighter fleet. 

Canadian Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan stated that assessment over whether an interim purchase of a fleet of 18-strong Super Hornets will “help to ensure Canada remains credible and dependable” as an ally to its international partners until a final decision is made on the permanent replacement aircraft.

However, following the announcement, 13 former RCAF commanders wrote a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling for him to reconsider the interim contract and to instead push the permanent jet fighter competition forward. 

Currently, there remains uncertainty over whether to proceed with a much-debated purchase of F-35s. In the meantime, the CF-18 fleet, at over 30 years old, has been reduced from its initial 138 to 77.

For the United States, stormclouds remain gathered around discussions of its future naval fleet, with officials standing by plans to welcome in the F-35 fleet in spite of repeared criticism from President Trump over the joint strike fighter's cost overruns and a supplemental budget request from the President's desk for 24 additional E/F Super Hornets.

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