Reports of skyrocketing costs and quality control problems could make the Eurofighter Typhoon too expensive for Canada’s tastes.
German newsmagazine Der Spiegel reports the Typhoon has suffered from shoddy manufacturing and software problems, causing delays and cost overruns.
It says the German defence ministry now “estimates the cost of the program at $22.8 billion by 2018″ for 143 aircraft.
That averages out to $159.2 million per plane.
With Canada looking to get 65 fighter jets to replace the old CF-18 fleet, the cost just to buy the Typhoon could hit $10.3 billion, well over the $9 billion cap set by the Conservative government.
Der Spiegel also outlined manufacturing problems for the jets made by defence contractor EADS.
“Sometimes there were leaks in the tanks, and sometimes the aircraft behaved in unexpected ways, such as a cockpit canopy opening on its own while the plane was taxiing for takeoff,” the newsmagazine reported Monday.
EADS denies its jets were assembled in slapdash fashion.
“The examples used in the article are four to seven years old and reflect in no way the current status,” it said in a statement.
While the company doesn’t deny the Typhoon’s price has risen, it says the price is “within the frame agreed with the customer.”
The Typhoon is up against Lockheed Martin’s F-35, Boeing’s Super Hornet and the French-made Rafale to replace the CF-18.
Canadian officials say they’ve received cost estimates from each fighter jet-maker.
The companies are due to provide industrial benefits estimates for Canada on Aug 2.