OTTAWA --- The Canadian military has decided it will rely on the U.S., other allies and private companies for air-to-air refuelling if the government purchases the F-35 because the stealth fighters aren’t compatible with Canada’s current refuelling aircraft.
The revelation is buried in an explosive report released last week and means the Canadian military would be reliant on third parties to realize the full benefits of its F-35s — a situation opposition critics and analysts say is completely unacceptable.
“I’m shocked,” said former defence department military procurement chief Alan Williams.
“At the end of the day, we want to provide our men and women in uniform the ability to do the job. And certainly eliminating that flexibility to be able to refuel when we want with our own assets is a very limiting factor.”
Air-to-air refuelling is considered to be of critical importance to Canada’s military aircraft given the country’s massive size, particularly when it comes to conducting sovereignty missions in the North. (end of excerpt)
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