A F18 Super Hornet creates a vapor cone as it flies at a transonic speed while doing a flyby of the USS Eisenhower in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015. The federal Liberal government says it will ``explore the acquisition'' of 18 new Boeing-made Super Hornet jets on an interim basis until it can decide on a permanent replacement for Canada's aging fleet of fighter planes.THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Mark Wilson/Pool Photo via AP ORG XMIT: CPT119

Canada intends to purchase 18 Boeing Super Hornet fighter jets and, while the Liberal government says it has a rough idea what that might cost, it stopped short of claiming its plan will save money in the long run.
The Liberals had promised during the election campaign to purchase a replacement aircraft for the CF-18 jet fleet, pointing out that it would go for a cheaper alternative to the controversial F-35 stealth fighter selected by the Conservative government.
But Tuesday, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced the Liberals would proceed with the purchase of 18 Super Hornets, in addition to holding a competition for the replacement of the CF-18 fleet later. The government noted that the F-35 could be selected as the winner for that competition if the price is right.
This new process could wind up costing taxpayers even more, say industry representatives.
Sajjan avoided the question of whether this new approach would be …