Canada will spend C$850 million ($630 million) to improve air base facilities to support its ongoing acquisition of new tanker aircraft.

Ottawa is in the process of acquiring nine Airbus Defence & Space A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transport jets, which will be locally designated the CC-330 Husky.

The infrastructure funds will go toward construction of a new hangar facility, improvements to runways and taxiways and installation of an upgraded apron at CFB Trenton, Ontario – the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF’s) main hub for air mobility operations.

“With new fleets of fighter jets, maritime patrol aircraft, tanker and transport aircraft, and more arriving throughout the next few years, we are building the Royal Canadian Air Force of tomorrow,” says defence minister Bill Blair.


Source: Royal Canadian Air Force

The Royal Canadian Air Force plans to replace its fleet of five A310-300-based CC-150 multi-purpose transports with nine Airbus A330 Multi-Role Tanker Transports

Ottawa is in the midst of a spending spree to modernise the RCAF, after decades of stagnation.

Airbus has delivered two of Canada’s nine CC-330s – an order worth $2.7 billion (C$3.6 billion) to the European airframer.

The first examples of the twinjet are configured for cargo transport, although the RCAF says they will eventually be converted for multi-role refuelling operations.

“The CC-330 will provide the RCAF with increased flexibility to fulfil a variety of air mobility missions, including air-to-air refuelling, passenger transport, aeromedical evacuation, and strategic transport,” Ottawa says.

Canada also plans to acquire 88 Lockheed Martin F-35A stealth fighters to replace the RCAF’s ageing fleet of Boeing F/A-18A Hornet combat jets. A yet-to-be-determined trainer jet will also be introduced to support F-35 pilot training.

The RCAF is also acquiring up to 16 Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, three Beechcraft King Air 350ER-based surveillance turboprops and 11 General Atomics Aeronautical Systems MQ-9B SkyGuardian remotely piloted aircraft.

That $1.97 billion deal for SkyGuardians represents Canada’s first-ever fielding of an uncrewed aerial vehicle capability.

Ottawa in February also announced a $200 million purchase of multiple air defence systems, including man-portable guided missiles from Saab and a variety of short-range systems designed to counter small drones that have proliferated on modern battlefields around the world.