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

Crows, pirates and Segways: L.V. Rogers students make projects out of passions

The Grade 12 students presented their capstone projects Wednesday

ANKORS among Columbia Basin Trust grant recipients

ANKORS is receiving $60,000 for a health promotion project

First 3D metal printer in rural Canada arrives at MIDAS Lab in Trail

MIDAS provides access to state-of-the-art equipment for fabrication and rapid prototyping

Learn to curl with Nelson Curling Club

The club is hosting clinic on Jan. 18

Whitewater’s Adam Kuch among winners at Junior Freeski event

The ski resort’s ninth annual freeski competition was held last weekend

VIDEO: Kootenay Patricks assemble for first practice ahead of charity game

The group of locals will play Montreal Canadiens alumni next week

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Sub-zero B.C. weather freezes clothing in just 45 minutes

A local photographer decided to have some fun with the frosty weather before its gone

VIDEO: Missing cat reunited with Vancouver Island family after three months

‘It was like one day she was there, the next day she was gone,’ said owner

Most Read