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Fri, Jun 29, 2012

Canada Mulls New Jet Trainer Options

Time To Replace BAE Systems CT-155 Hawk Aircraft

The Canadian Air Force is considering its options as it gets ready to replace its fleet of aging BAE Systems CT-155 Hawk aircraft (pictured). The replacement comes as Canada is also preparing for its acquisition of F-35 JSF aircraft.

The decision as to which trainer it will buy is still in its exploratory phases, according to a report from UPI. Several airplanes are reportedly under consideration, including BAE's Hawk 128, Alenia Aeronautica's M-346, and Korean Aerospace International's T-50 Golden Eagle.

Which ever trainer is selected, the package is expected to include simulators and a curriculum designed to help pilots transition to the F-35, though that acquisition continues to be a major political issue in Canada.

The country had originally planned to purchase 65 of the Joint Strike Fighters, but the price tag on those airplanes has climbed to more than $15 billion.

The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been accused of not being transparent enough in sharing information on the F-35 program with parliament and government agencies. The JSF will be phased in replacing CF-18 Hornets on a timeline that is still fluid, but expected to be completed over the next four years.



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