TORONTO (AP) -- Canada's associate defense minister says his government could back out of a multibillion-dollar plan to buy F-35 stealth fighters from the United States.
Julian Fantino said Tuesday that Canada is considering "if and when" to sign a contract for the Lockheed Martin manufactured jet.
Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been a staunch supporter of the program, but Fantino's remarks represent a step back. Canada has said it would buy 65 jets.
Japan has said it may cancel its plans to buy dozens of the fighters. The next-generation fighter is set to become the centerpiece of U.S. and allied air forces, but the program has been plagued by delays and cost overruns.
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