The head of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Michael Hood, mentioned in a statement on Monday that Canada only needs an interim fleet of fighter jets on an urgent basis because the Liberal government created a new policy that increased the number of aircraft that must be available for NORAD and NATO missions at the same time.
Earlier, the Liberals made use of a long-standing “capability gap” last week and presented the idea of the sole-source purchase of 18 Boeing Super Hornets. However, Lt.-Gen. Hood clearly identified that the need for new jets was caused by the recent policy change. He explained that “previously … we were comfortable as an armed forces in meeting those [NORAD and NATO commitments] with our extant fleet.” Addressing reporters after appearing at a Senate committee, Lt.-Gen. Hood elucidated “that policy has changed with a requirement to be able to meet both of those concurrently, as opposed to managing them together, thus the requirement to increase the number of fighters available.”