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This article was published 3/5/2012 (1575 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
OTTAWA -- The general responsible for NATO's military hardware says it's not important that countries buy the same fighter jets, punching a hole in the Canadian government's argument that it must buy the F-35 for the sake of "interoperability."
NATO's supreme allied commander transformation, Stéphane Abrial, a former fighter pilot and chief of staff of the French air force, testified before the House of Commons defence committee Thursday.
"We do not advocate a single type of aircraft, single type of ships, single type of rifles," Abrial said. "We never wanted to make sure everyone has the same equipment: That's not our goal."
Abrial said interoperability has to do primarily with training and ensuring all NATO forces have sufficient skills to function as one on the battlefield.
Defence Minister Peter MacKay has long argued that Canada should buy the F-35 because, with so many NATO allies buying it, it will make for smoother allied operations.
-- Postmedia News