Showing posts with label Royal Canadian Air Force. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Canadian Air Force. Show all posts

Saturday 2 December 2023

Canada is purchasing 14 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force

Earlier this week Canadian officials confirmed the country had finalized a deal with Boeing to buy up to 16 P-8A Poseidon aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). Fourteen multi-mission aircraft will be procured, with options for an additional two jets. 

The P-8A will replace Canada’s current maritime patrol aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora, which has been in service for more than 40 years. As it ages, the CP-140 aircraft is becoming increasingly difficult to support, expensive to sustain, and less operationally relevant in comparison to the threats against which it must defend. The purchase of the P-8A aircraft will allow Canada to seamlessly transition to the replacement capability, ensuring the nation can continue to meet its domestic needs and international obligations.

After significant engagement and thorough analysis, we are confident that the P-8A delivers the best anti-submarine and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities for our country. The aircraft will operate seamlessly with allies. This platform is a proven capability that is operated by all our Five Eyes allies—the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand—as well as other defence partners.

It is unknown if the recent ditching of a US Poseidon or ongoing technical issues with two of Royal Air Force aircraft have had an impact on the contract or the costs, which are estimated to be  $5.9 billion. The whole programme is expected to be setting the Canadians back $10.9 billion including simulators, training, weapons and other associated costs. 

The P-8A will provide Canada an advanced multi-mission platform to conduct maritime and overland surveillance in defence of Canada with integrated C4ISR, anti-submarine and anti-surface capabilities. These aircraft are not just airplanes, but complex weapon systems capable of transporting and launching multiple sonobuoys, torpedoes, and anti-ship weapons to protect Canada’s water on all three coasts.

The first P-8A should be delivered in 2026, and with an average of one aircraft delivered per month, all of the aircraft could be delivered as early as fall 2027. We anticipate full operational capability by 2033.

As part of this project, Boeing will provide meaningful business activities and make targeted investments in Canadian industry to support the growth of our aerospace and defence sector. To that end, Boeing has plans to integrate Canadian companies in global supply chains, develop clean technologies and support the development of skills and training in Canada.

Boeing’s economic commitments to Canada have the potential to generate more than 3000 jobs annually for Canadian industry and value chain partners, contribute at least $358 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product over a ten-year period, and will bring benefits to hundreds of Canadian companies.

This important agreement will deliver the most modern and advanced equipment and ensure the protection of our country for years to come. The Government of Canada will continue to make significant investments to give the members of our Canadian Armed Forces the equipment they need to do their jobs.

Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence said: “In today’s complex global environment, Canada requires a military that is capable of protecting our country well into the future. We are committed to ensuring that our current and future aviators have the most advanced equipment possible to do just that. Canada requires a multi-mission fleet to contribute to the safety and security of Canadians and protect the sovereignty of a country with the longest coastline in the world. The Boeing P-8A Poseidon is the right aircraft to fulfil this role.”

The P-8A will replace Canada’s current maritime patrol aircraft, the CP-140 Aurora. The CP-140 Aurora fleet was originally procured in 1980 and is currently scheduled to retire from service in 2030. At that point, it will have been in service for almost 50 years and will face significant obsolescence challenges. Procuring a new fleet is required to continue protecting Canadian sovereignty along our three coastlines.

Domestically, the CP-140 plays an important role in protecting the longest coastline in the world, including by detecting security threats, illegal fishing, drug trafficking, and polluters along the Canadian coastlines. Internationally, it routinely participates in international missions, providing aerial Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) support to coalition air operations.

Canada’s adversaries are deploying increasingly sophisticated, stealthy, and lethal capabilities in the surface and subsurface domains, which reduce the effectiveness of the CP-140.

Following a thorough market analysis, engagements with industry and Canada’s closest allies, and after assessing the findings of an independent third-party report, the Government has determined that the P-8A is the only currently available aircraft that meets all the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft (CMMA) project operational requirements.

The P-8A will specialize in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare and is optimal for C4ISR. This capability will also be upgradeable, resilient, and interoperable with the RCAF’s joint, interagency, multinational and public partners, and provides an operational advantage over adversaries. 

Canada determined that it requires a minimum fleet of 14 aircraft to meet domestic and international obligations, as well as the minimum force generation and development requirements.

Canada will be acquiring training aids and simulators for the new fleet. The cost of training aids and simulators is included within the overall project budget and within the current Foreign Military Sale (FMS) case. 

As part of the project, Canada is assessing the infrastructure needs for the replacement fleet and requirements to recapitalize infrastructure at the operating bases.

The P-8A aircraft will be based at 14 Wing Greenwood, N.S. and 19 Wing Comox, B.C.

As soon as Canada’s new CC-330 Husky aircraft fleet reaches initial operational capability, it will be able to refuel other aircraft, including the P-8A.

Wednesday 21 June 2023

Royal Canadian Air Force CH-147F Chinook helicopter crashes

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CH-147F Chinook helicopter crashed in the Ottawa River in the early hours of Tuesday, June 20th. Following a search, the RCAF confirmed today that two crew members onboard did not survive the incident. The names of the deceased individuals are not being released at the request of their families.

The two members were amongst a total crew of four who were on the 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron aircraft at the time of the accident. The other two members of the crew were found by Garrison Petawawa firefighters earlier and taken to hospital in Pembroke with minor injuries shortly after the crash. Both have since been released and are being monitored by Canadian Armed Forces medical personnel. The full range of support is being provided to the families of the two deceased members, the two surviving air crew members and their families, and to the members of 450 Squadron and Garrison Petawawa at this difficult time.

The RCAF’s Directorate of Flight Safety is conducting an investigation into the accident to determine the cause. 

The Honorable Anita Anand, Minister of National Defence said: "I join all Canadians in mourning the loss of two Royal Canadian Air Force members from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron. These brave Canadian Armed Forces members served Canada with honour, dedication, and immeasurable courage. I extend my deepest condolences to their loved ones. I also send my prayers to the two members injured in the crash, who are now recovering. We are with you.”

General Wayne Eyre, Chief of the Defence Staff said “It is with profound sadness that we mourn the loss of these two members. They served with honour, proudly devoting their lives to Canada with tremendous professionalism and selfless service. Their loss is devastating, and we stand in grief with their families, friends, and teammates during this time of great sorrow. Our thoughts and prayers are also with our members who were injured in this tragic accident, and we wish them a quick recovery. On behalf of all members of the armed forces, the Canadian Armed Forces Chief Warrant Officer and I offer our deepest condolences to the loved ones of our fallen.”

Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny, Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force commented: “The hearts of Royal Canadian Air Force members are heavy with the news from Garrison Petawawa about the loss of two members from 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron.  There are no words to describe a loss as tragic as this. On behalf of the entire Air Force family, Chief Warrant Officer Hall and I offer our deepest condolences and support to the families, friends and loved ones of all those affected by this accident.”

The search for the stricken helicopter was supported by approximately 110 Canadian Armed Forces members on the shore and on the water; including divers from 2 Combat Engineer Regiment, as well as CC-130J Hercules and CH-146 Griffon aircraft from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron, and 427 Special Operations Aviation Squadron. An Ontario Provincial Police marine and dive unit, and Petawawa and Pembroke fire departments, also supported search efforts.