Readout of a call between Defence Minister Anita Anand and U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
March 29, 2022 – Ottawa – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
Today, Defence Minister Anita Anand had another productive meeting with U.S Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III.
Minister Anand updated Secretary Austin on Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project, and in particular, the Government of Canada’s decision to enter the finalization phase of the procurement process with Lockheed Martin and the United States government for 88 new F-35 fighter aircraft. Through a competitive and independent procurement process, all bids were rigorously assessed on capability, cost, and economic benefit. The F-35 emerged as the top bidder, and has proven to be a mature, capable, and interoperable aircraft.
Minister Anand stated that this procurement represents the most significant investment in the Royal Canadian Air Force in more than 30 years. Canada’s new fleet of fighter jets will ensure that Canada is well-equipped to defend North America into the future, and that Canada can continue to meet its commitments to NORAD and NATO.
Minister Anand and Secretary Austin strongly condemned Russia’s ongoing attack against Ukraine, and agreed that Canada and the United States will continue to coordinate their efforts to provide Ukraine with comprehensive military assistance.
At this crucial time for global stability, Minister Anand and Secretary Austin agreed that Canada and the United States will continue to work closely together on ensuring the security of the Arctic and the North American continent more broadly.
Minister Anand reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to the Canada-U.S. Joint Statement on NORAD Modernization, which was issued on August 14, 2021, and discussed plans to move forward with implementation. Minister Anand stated that NORAD modernization is a key priority for the Government of Canada. Minister Anand and Secretary Austin will continue to work closely on plans to modernize NORAD – the cornerstone of the Canada-U.S. defence relationship – and Minister Anand reiterated her commitment to present a robust package to modernize NORAD in the short-term.
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