An RCAF CF-18 takes off from CFB Bagotville, Que. on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

Expect plan to upgrade aging CF-18s next May, defence officials say

Feds plan to invest $3 billion over next decade to keep CF-18s going until new fighter-jets bought

Defence officials say they expect to know next spring what sensor, weapons and defensive upgrades will be needed to ensure the country’s aging CF-18 fighter jets are still able to fly combat missions until they are replaced in 2032.

The Trudeau government plans to invest $3 billion over the next decade to keep the CF-18s as well as a handful of second-hand Australian fighters in the air until a new fighter-jet is purchased.

But auditor general Michael Ferguson found last month that price tag did not include any actual upgrades to the planes’ combat systems, which have not had any significant upgrades since 2008.

READ MORE: Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

Defence officials told a House of Commons committee this afternoon they expect to have an idea by May what kind of combat upgrades will be needed — upgrades analysts expect will cost hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars.

The officials also blamed a nationwide shortage of pilots for contributing to the air force’s difficulty in finding enough fighter jockeys to fly the CF-18s, which Ferguson also flagged as a major concern.

A number of measures are being explored or implemented to retain experienced pilots, who Ferguson found are leaving faster than they can be replaced.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sparwood’s Causeway Bay Hotel reports COVID-positive guest

The hotel manager said guests who ate at the Gateway Restaurant at the same time do not need to be tested

Mugshots Cafe is revived via new ownership

The cafe was purchased from its previous owner on August 1

City of Fernie issues water upgrade updates

City changes include construction, water restrictions, and a water quality advisory

Business Beat

Kaitlyn Poirier joins ET Hair Salon

Elkford Chamber launches a Youth Chamber Program

The program encourages youth to start their own businesses while developing community connections

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

We were a bit tone deaf: Hobo Cannabis renamed Dutch Love after backlash

Hobo Cannabis has various locations in Vancouver, Kelowna and Ottawa

Most Read