Canada said Wednesday that it would reconsider plans to buy 65 F-35 fighter jets after an independent audit found that the sophisticated stealth planes would cost substantially more than the government had promised.
The decision was an unusual step back by Stephen Harper, the prime minister, who has been a strident defender of the purchase despite widespread public criticism of the price. Two cabinet ministers said an independent panel would review a variety of options, including a version of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter as well as sticking with the F-35, made by Lockheed Martin.
“We have hit the reset button and are taking the time to do a complete assessment of all available aircraft,” Rona Ambrose, the public works minister, told reporters in Ottawa.
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