MONTREAL, March 21 (UPI) -- Canada's government is nervously awaiting an Auditor General's report, which is expected to be highly critical of the F-35 fighter jet procurement program.
Some commentators have said that in the aftermath of the report, the government may retreat into a "wait and see" attitude on the project, gauging further developments both in the United States and abroad before making a final decision on purchasing the aircraft.
That process could take up to a year.
Cost overruns and technical delays have contributed to rising concern with the $382 billion Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter program.
The General Accounting Office estimates the cost of the F-35 at $137 million-$162 million apiece, far more than the $75 million price tag long maintained by the Canadian government.
Given the program's mounting problems, defense industry insiders in Ottawa expect the F-35 acquisition program will be replaced by an international competition for replacement fighter aircraft, The Montreal Gazette reported.