WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The government is ready to enter into discussions with the US and Boeing on the use of these jets Super Hornet aircraft as a stopgag measure.
"Canada will immediately explore the acquisition of 18 new Super Hornet aircraft to supplement the CF-18s until the permanent replacement arrives," the statement noted.
The number of mission-ready planes the RCAF can put in the air is now fewer than Canada’s North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and NATO obligations combined, it stated.
"Having to manage our commitments to NORAD, NATO, and our ability to respond to unforeseen events is not a risk this government is willing to accept," Canadian Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan said in the statement.
Canada is retaining the option to buy the expensive and controversial US F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Aircraft for its permanent air combat force but has not yet committed itself to that option, the statement also noted.