February 29, 2024

The federal government in July signed a $3.6-billion deal to buy 9 aircrafts to switch Canada’s growing old fleet

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As Canada’s prime minister wraps up a busy summer season racking up mileage on authorities plane, the Royal Canadian Air Pressure is probably simply weeks away from introducing new transport plane that guarantees to make abroad VIP flights sooner and simpler.

Publicly obtainable knowledge from on-line battle trackers checklist CANFORCE ONE taking to the skies 42 instances between the time the Home rose for the summer season on June 22, and the start of the autumn sitting on Sept. 18 — logging 87,821 km.

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s most typical journey was the 360 kilometre hop between Ottawa and Toronto, which he embarked upon seven instances over the summer season.

Toronto was the vacation spot of the Trudeau’s most up-to-date journeys — a flight Tuesday to participate in a 35-minute speak at an auto components conference, and a pair of picture alternatives on Friday.

The prime minister launched into three abroad journeys this summer season, kicking off June 25 with a three-day go to to Iceland for a gathering of the Nordic prime ministers.

That was adopted just a few weeks later with a four-day go to to Latvia and Lithuania from July 9 to 13, assembly with navy leaders and to participate in a NATO summit.

The third abroad journey was Trudeau’s go to to Indonesia, Singapore and India earlier this month, which noticed the prime minister’s plane — a Royal Canadian Air Pressure CC-150 Polaris — stranded for days in Delhi on account of a mechanical breakdown, prompting officers to dispatch a rescue airplane carrying technicians and spare components.

By coverage, Canada’s prime ministers are prohibited from flying commercially.

The prime minister depends upon a fleet of Bombardier Challenger 650 enterprise jets operated by 412 Transport Squadron out of Ottawa airport for home flights.

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For abroad journeys involving giant delegations or press attendance, journey is accommodated by a fleet of problematic CC-150 Polaris transport plane, dealt with by 437 Transport Squadron primarily based at CFB Trenton.

Whereas the Polaris — Canada’s long-lived transport and air-to-air refuelling platform — is nicely previous obsolescence, a alternative program is nearly to get underway.

In July, the RCAF signed a $3.6-billion settlement with Airbus to each purchase 4 new A330 Multi Position Tanker Transport plane, and convert 5 used A330-200 airliners for twin transport-refuelling functionality.

Canada will designate the 9 new plane because the CC-330 Husky.

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These planes will change the air drive’s growing old transport fleet, consisting of 5 CC-150 Polaris plane — navy conversions of the venerable (and now out of date) Airbus A310 airliner.

Canada’s Polaris fleet have been initially civilian airliners for Wardair, and bought to the RCAF within the early ’90s after the now-defunct service was absorbed into Canadian Airways.

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The RCAF bought two used A330-200 plane final July for $138 million.

A kind of plane, 330002, arrived in Canada earlier this month and is anticipated to enter service later this fall as Canada’s main govt transport plane for the prime minister and Governor Basic.

The second Husky, at the moment present process upkeep and portray, is anticipated to be delivered in December and enter service quickly after.

The brand new planes have a 13,900 km vary, in response to the RCAF — in comparison with the Polaris’ 9,600 km vary — and can even fly larger and sooner.

On the similar time the RCAF was coming into into its settlement with Airbus, Canada bought three extra used A330-200s for $203 million, with supply anticipated in 2024.

Upon supply, these plane can be used for cargo, troop and passenger operations.

“This might embody the deployment of Canadian Armed Forces troops inside Canada or abroad, and the motion of civilian passengers in assist of humanitarian aid operations and strategic Authorities of Canada transport, together with transport of the Prime Minister, Governor Basic, and others,” mentioned a press release from the Division of Nationwide Defence.

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In time, the used plane can be transformed by Airbus into air-to-air refuelling tankers.

Underneath Canada’s Strategic Tanker Transport Functionality mission, tanker-configured Huskies will assist Canadian and allied missions to fulfil obligations below Norad, and are able to preserving six CF-18s totally fuelled throughout a transatlantic crossing.

Ottawa-based analysis advisor Steffan Watkins mentioned that, contemplating the present state of the Polaris fleet, the brand new planes can’t arrive rapidly sufficient.

“Crucial function of CC-330 Husky 330002 is that it really works,” he mentioned.

“It could possibly carry extra folks farther, however proper now something is best than a deteriorating Airbus 310-based fleet that’s spending lots of time below upkeep.”

Earlier this month, Polaris 15001 — the airplane primarily utilized by prime ministers travelling overseas — suffered a mechanical breakdown, stranding Canada’s G20 summit delegation in Delhi for days.

Polaris 15002, the rescue airplane dispatched by air drive officers to restore that stricken plane, is one among solely two planes within the fleet at the moment operational.

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15001, Watkins mentioned, has sat idle at CFB Trenton and hasn’t flown since arriving dwelling from India two weeks in the past.

That very same airplane spent months present process repairs in 2019 after it rolled away from crews at CFB Trenton and collided nose-first right into a wall.

Polaris 15003 has been marooned at an American air drive base in Guam since July after colliding with one other airplane.

RCAF CC-150 Polaris 15003, after rolling away and colliding with a French Air Force plane at Anderson AFB in Guam in July 2023.
RCAF CC-150 Polaris 15003, after rolling away and colliding with a French Air Pressure airplane at Anderson AFB in Guam in July 2023. RCAF picture

In keeping with an official incidence abstract, 15003 — collaborating in a joint train organized by the USAF Air Mobility Command — rolled right into a French Air Pressure A400M after being parked insecurely with unchocked wheels the earlier night.

The collision tore a deep gash into 15003’s vertical stabilizer and rudder, practically severing it.

Whereas some observers consider the airplane is past restore and could also be scrapped in situ, the DND says a closing choice on 15003’s destiny has but to be decided.

“The ultimate investigation into this matter is at the moment ongoing. (A) flight security investigation report can be produced and launched after its conclusion,” learn a press release from defence spokesperson Andrew McKelvey.

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“As for the plane itself, a plan of action remains to be being decided.”

15004 has been laid up in Montreal for 3 weeks, almost certainly for upkeep, Watkins mentioned, and 15005 is busy refuelling Canadian fighter jets participating in an train within the U.Ok.

Franco Terrazzano, federal director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, mentioned the federal government has its work lower out for them preserving the mission’s prices below management.

“The feds appear to have a tough time parking a airplane, so how are they going to ensure the prices don’t run away on taxpayers?” he mentioned.

“Time and time once more, we’ve seen huge procurement budgets balloon, so the feds should be sure there are guardrails in place to maintain taxpayers from paying a fair greater invoice.”

That is the second huge aviation deal penned by Canada this 12 months.

In January, Canada finalized an estimated $70-billion deal to buy 88 F-35 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, replacements for the growing old CF-18 fleet.

The RCAF is anticipated to take supply of their first 4 jets in 2026.

• E-mail: [email protected] | X: @bryanpassifiume

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