MONTREAL—Lockheed Martin says Canada’s aerospace industry could lose about $10.5-billion worth of contracts over several decades if the federal government ultimately decides not to purchase the controversial F35 Stealth Fighter.
Orlando Carvalho, executive vice-president of the American defence giant, says Lockheed will honour $500-million worth of business already awarded to Canadian partners but that other work would be in jeopardy without a Canadian jet order.
Ottawa is evaluating potential alternatives to its original plan to purchase 65 F35 aircraft.
A KPMG report late last year warned that the total bill, including service and support, could be as much as $45.8-billion over 42 years.
Carvalho says Lockheed estimates that Canadian industry could potentially receive $11-billion of contracts over 25 to 40 years as its builds 3,000 planes for air forces around the world.
He also says Lockheed continues to reduce the F35’s cost.
He says each plane will cost Canada around $75-million in today’s dollars, or about $85-million including inflation once they are expected to be delivered to Canada in 2018.
Carvalho adds that the plane’s features, including stealth technology and surveillance capabilities, make it the right choice for Canada.