In late December, the Minister of Defence Rob Nicholson announced the Royal Canadian Air Force will acquire a fifth aircraft to augment the current CC-177 Globemaster fleet.
The additional CC-177 will improve the Canadian Armed Forces capability to response to both domestic and international emergencies and provide support to a variety of missions, including humanitarian assistance, peace support and combat.
“Our Government has made the rebuilding of Canada’s defence capability a cornerstone of our policy agenda at a time when the world remains volatile and unpredictable. Having a fifth C-17 will significantly augment the flexibility of the Canadian Armed Force’s strategic airlift, allowing our men and women in uniform to respond quickly when and where necessary,” said Nicholson.
The additional Globemaster will ease the burden on the current fleet and extend the life expectancy of the entire fleet by about seven and a half years.
With the purchase of an additional aircraft, the RCAF is projected to have at least three CC-177 aircraft available more than 90 per cent of the time to respond to concurrent international or domestic crises. This represents an increase of approximately 25 per cent.
The current fleet of CC-177s has been playing an integral role in ferrying supplies and troops to Kuwait to establish and resupply the Canadian camp through Operation IMPACT. It has also delivered essential armaments and materiel to CF-18s deployed in Lithuania in support of NATO as part of Operation REASSURANCE and the international response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
“The CC-177 fleet has proven to be an extremely effective fleet, one which enables large numbers of simultaneous operations even on short notice. Canada’s addition of a fifth aircraft increases the Royal Canadian Air Force’s flexibility and availability to respond to international or domestic crises,” said General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff.
The CC-177s have also been used domestically to provide support to Operation NANOOK where they transported both equipment and personnel in Canada’s largest arctic sovereignty operation, and on Operation BOXTOP, where they provide a critical lifeline and resupplies on a semi-annual basis Canadian Forces Station Alert.
Using existing defence budgets, the acquisition project cost is estimated at $415 million, in addition to 12 years of integrated in-service support valued at $30 million.
Canada’s defence sector will continue to benefit from the purchase of the fifth C-17 through the Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy. Boeing’s value proposition includes strong commitments in areas such as supplier development and research and technological development to improve the competitiveness of Canada’s defence sector.
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