Tory minister says 'all options are on the table' for F-35 fighter jets

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA - The Conservative cabinet minister in charge of buying equipment for the military says all options are on the table when it comes to the F-35 stealth fighter jets.

Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino says the Tories have set aside $9 billion to replace the air force's aging CF-18 fighter-bombers.

He says the government has flexibility, so it can move ahead or behind in the line to buy the new aircraft, or buy more or fewer than the planned 65 planes.

The purchase price in any given year depends on how many other countries are placing orders.

But Fantino says he won't speculate on whether Canada will buy fewer than 65 F-35s.

The Conservatives say they still believe the high-tech jet is the best choice to replace the CF-18.