New Canadian fighter jets will need U.S. certification: DND

Canada's top military procurement official says the U.S. will have to sign off on whatever fighter jet this country purchases, but that he is not concerned about political interference.

Patrick Finn, the Defence Department's assistant deputy minister of materiel, says the U.S. must certify the fighter jet Canada chooses to ensure it meets American security standards.

That is because whatever aircraft replaces Canada's aging CF-18s will need to be able to tap into the U.S.'s most secure intelligence network to help protect North America through Norad.

Industry sources have quietly worried that could provide a pretext for the U.S. to block Canada from purchasing either the Eurofighter Typhoon or the Saab Gripen, both of which are made by European companies and are competing against two American-made planes.

Those fears are especially acute at the moment given the Trump administration's focus on selling U.S. products to foreign countries.

While unable to rule out that risk entirely, Finn says certification will be years down the road and that U.S. officials have said they are open to Canada's buying a non-American jet.