Canada looks to buy 18 Super Hornet jets on interim basis

Canada's defense minister says the country is looking at buying 18 Boeing Super Hornet jet fighters on an interim basis and will hold an open competition to buy more planes in the months ahead.

Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said Tuesday they'll enter discussions immediately with Boeing on the acquisition of an interim fleet to address the problem of its aging fleet of CF-18s.

Sajjan says Canada remains part of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. The government previously said it would honor its campaign pledge not to buy the next generation F-35 fighter from Lockheed Martin's troubled program. Canada had previously talked about buying 65 jets from the program, but Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had said he wants a cheaper option.

The F-35 is the Pentagon's most expensive weapons program.