Revealed Jul 25, 2023 1:25 pm ET
Up to date July 25, 2023 three:57 pm ET
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau departs a authorities airplane as he arrives for the NATO Summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, Monday, July 10, 2023. CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
OTTAWA — The federal authorities has signed a $three.6 billion contract with European aviation firm Airbus to switch its getting old Polaris transport planes, certainly one of which is utilized by high-ranking authorities officers, together with the Prime Minister and Governor Normal.
Along with VIP service, the Royal Canadian Air Pressure makes use of Polaris planes for air-to-air refueling and personnel transport.
The fleet of 5 plane has been operated by the RCAF 437 transport squadron since 1992 and its service life will finish in 2027. Authorities officers say additional deployment can be extraordinarily tough as a result of age of the expertise.
The brand new fleet of planes, which will probably be known as the CC-330 Husky, consists of 4 new and 5 used plane which are being geared up to show the identical capabilities.
The federal government purchased the used planes from an organization in Kuwait, and two of them will start flying out of Ottawa Worldwide Airport this fall.
One in all them will probably be painted in the same strategy to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s present airplane and is predicted to be delivered this summer time. Officers wouldn’t say whether or not it will likely be prepared to be used in September, when Trudeau is predicted to attend the G20 summit in India.
The getting old Polaris fleet has triggered issues for Trudeau all through his time in workplace.
A glitch in October 2016 required the airplane to return to Ottawa 30 minutes after takeoff with Trudeau, who was on his strategy to Belgium to signal the Canada-Europe free commerce settlement.
In October 2019, the VIP plane rolled right into a wall whereas being towed right into a hangar at eight Wing Trenton, sustaining “important structural harm to the nostril and proper engine cowling,” in accordance with the Air Pressure.
The plane was out of service for a number of months that 12 months. A spare airplane was used to take Trudeau to the NATO summit in December 2019, nevertheless it was grounded in London when the Air Pressure found an issue with one of many engines.
Canadian crews have been coaching to fly the brand new plane in the UK since January. On common, it takes about three months of coaching for a Polaris pilot to be able to fly the brand new Airbus, Nationwide Protection officers mentioned at a press convention Tuesday.
Two of the used planes had been bought for $102 million final June, and the opposite three had been bought this month at a price of $150 million.
The Airbus contract consists of superior coaching gear and a full flight simulator, which can get rid of the necessity to ship crews to Germany for coaching twice a 12 months, officers mentioned.
Husky plane will be capable of carry out air-to-air refueling for Canada’s NATO allies, together with F-35 fighter jets and US Air Pressure fighter jets. Canada has dedicated to purchasing 88 F-35s, that are set to be delivered beginning in 2026.
Protection Division officers mentioned the fleet will probably be stationed at three bases: one within the east, one within the west and one within the north, however they haven’t but decided precisely the place they are going to be.
New infrastructure can be a part of the contract, as a result of the plans are about 50 p.c heavier and 50 p.c wider than these of the present fleet. The Authorities is business websites and current Nationwide Protection properties as a part of this work.
This report from The Canadian Press was first revealed on July 25, 2023.