The Courier

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On May 29th, at the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries’ annual defence industry tradeshow (CANSEC), the Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence, announced significant investments to equip the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) with new, state-of-the-art platforms for training and operations at home and abroad.

To provide the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with modern, state-of-the-art aircrew training, Minister Blair announced the award of a 25-year contract valued at $11.2 billion (including taxes) to SkyAlyne Canada Limited Partnership for the Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) Program. Through this contract, Canada will acquire over 70 training aircraft in total, split into five fleets. These include fleets of:

  • Grob G120TP,
  • Pilatus PC-21,
  • Beechcraft King Air 260,
  • Airbus Helicopters H-135, and
  • De Havilland Dash 8-400 equipped with a mission training system in the cabin.

The investment is part of the largest recapitalization of the RCAF since the Second World War. Since 2022 alone, the Government of Canada has finalized the procurement or upgrade of approximately 140 new aircraft for the RCAF – from F-35 fighters to P-8A Poseidon multi-mission aircraft. This particular investment will bolster our ability to train a sufficient number of qualified aircrews to meet our operational requirements.

The contract will also include classroom instruction, simulator and flight training, as well as numerous on-site support activities for prospective RCAF Pilots, Air Combat Systems Officers, and Airborne Electronic Sensor Operators. Training under this new contract will continue to take place at key RCAF Wings in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and is expected to begin in spring 2029.

The FAcT Program has the potential to create or maintain 3,400 jobs and contribute $405 million annually into Canada’s gross domestic product over a 25-year period.

Minister Blair also announced that Canada is investing up to $2.58 billion (including taxes) to acquire and maintain a new fleet of logistics vehicles for the Canadian Army. Canada has awarded contracts to General Dynamics Land Systems – Canada in a joint venture with Marshall Canada, for the Logistics Vehicle Modernization (LVM) project. This project will provide the CAF with a new fleet of more than 1,000 light trucks and approximately 500 heavy trucks, as well as associated equipment such as armoured protection kits, modules, containers, and trailers.

This new, modern fleet of vehicles will enable the CAF to transport larger loads of personnel, equipment, and supplies, while also providing increased mobility and protection for CAF members. The vehicles are used to support a range of domestic and international operations including disaster relief, combat support, and peacekeeping. Delivery of the new vehicles is expected to begin in fall 2027, and they will replace the current fleet of light support vehicles, heavy logistics vehicles, and the minor fleet of heavy engineer support vehicles, which have all been in use since the late 1980s or early 1990s.

In addition to the new vehicles, the LVM project will acquire new trailers, armoured protection kits, materiel handling systems and equipment, as well as detachable and interchangeable containers and modules that can be used for a variety of functions, including firefighting, ambulances, command posts, and workshops.

The LVM project has the potential to create or maintain 1,550 jobs and contribute $200 million to Canada’s GDP over an eight-year period.

As indicated in our renewed vision for defence, Our North, Strong and Free, the Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Canada’s defence industry, based on clarity, certainty, and long-term partnership. Today’s investments are excellent examples of projects that will provide the CAF with the tools that they need to protect Canada while supporting the growth and competitiveness of Canada’s aerospace, defence and automotive sector.

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