Canada Increases Defence Spending

Contributor:  Defence IQ Press
Posted:  10/05/2009  2:53:00 PM EDT
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Tags:   Boeing | defence | aircraft | Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s approved the purchases of 4 Boeing C-17s and several used Boeing CH-47D Chinooks in 2007–among several new aircraft acquisitions. Harper’s administration has also signed a contract for 17 Lockheed Martin C-130J transports and announced plans to buy 16 new CH-47Fs. Moreover, the “Canada First Defence Strategy” unveiled last year proposes to spend $240 billion over the next 20 years to buy and maintain more new kit, including fighter, search and rescue and maritime patrol aircraft.

Canada plans to complete three more procurements for military aircraft over the next decade–for up to 17 fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft, 65 tactical fighters and a new fleet of medium-altitude, long-endurance unmanned aircraft systems. The DND has formed a next-generation fighter capability office to develop an acquisition strategy for replacing the Boeing CF-18 fleet starting in 2017. Although Canada is a member of the nine-nation partnership producing the F-35, Boeing and Eurofighter are also respectively marketing the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and Typhoon. However, industry’s choice between the fighters is already clear through Canada’s $9 billion economic stake in the F-35’s supply chain.

The fixed-wing search and rescue contract, which has been in contention since 2002, may offer the first taste of the government’s industrial policy. Competing aircraft are the Alenia C-27J and EADS CASA C-295. However, two Canada-based suppliers–Bombardier and Viking Air–also plan to participate in the competition. Bombardier is preparing a bid based on the Q400 turboprop. Viking Air is proposing a modernised Buffalo NG, with new Pratt & Whitney Canada PW150 engines, a new cockpit, composite fuselage structures and redesigned nacelle.

Defence IQ Press Contributor:   Defence IQ Press

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