Arcfield Canada Awarded $211.9 Contract to Sustain RCAF CF-18 Fleet

Arcfield Canada is once again the custodian of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) elite CF-18 fleet.

The government of Canada recently awarded Calgary’s Arcfield Canada a contract worth $211.6 million to sustain the fleet.

The contract will include:

  • Supporting the CF-18 fleet’s Avionics weapons systems.
  • Supplying parts as needed.
  • Providing end-to-end supply chain services, according to a Department of National Defence press release.

“This major investment in Calgary’s Arcfield Canada will support Canada’s world-class defence and aviation industry, sustain good jobs for Albertans and Canadians, and ultimately, ensure that our Royal Canadian Air Force’s fighter fleet can meet its operational commitments. Together with our industry partners, we are ensuring that Canadian Armed Forces members have the tools that they need to do their jobs, and keep our country safe,” said Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence.

The contract is for a five-year period, with five subsequent one-year options and came into effect on April 1, 2024. If all subsequent contracts are used, it will last until March 31, 2034. Acrfield’s previous contract expired on March 31, 2024.

A Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet pilot conducts start up procedures before heading out on a combat training flight during Operation REASSURANCE – Air Task Force Romania, October 7, 2020 at the Mihail Kogӑlniceanu Air Base, Romania. Photo by: S1 Zach Barr, Air Task Force Romania.

Contract Details

The contract entails many aspects that will sustain the fleet and support CF-18 technicians. Arcfield, overall, will be providing:

  • Avionics spare parts available to CF-18 techs;
  • End-to-end supply chain services will be provided;
  • Ensure that repairs can be executed effectively in the field;
  • Users and maintainers of the CF-18 will have access to fully maintained technical publications.
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188 Hornets await their turn for take off during Exercise PUMA STRIKE 16-B at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, USA on November 15, 2016. Photo: Cpl Manuela Berger, 4 Wing Imaging. Image courtesy of the CAF. 

Investing in Defence

According to DND, the contract will support and invest in Canada’s defence industry. The contract will support not only jobs in Calgary and Alberta in a wider sense but also the Canadian economy overall.

According to the DND press release, the contract will put “$41 million annually into Canada’s gross domestic product over a ten-year period.”

“Through this contract with Arcfield Canada, our government is providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment it needs to continue to effectively execute their missions, while ensuring economic benefits for Canadians. This procurement will create high-value jobs across Canada, safeguard domestic sustainment of our fighter fleet, and support our world-class defence and aerospace industries,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, George Chahal, visited Arcfield Canada. He made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of National Defence, Bill Blair, and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Jean-Yves Duclos. Left to right, MP George Chahal, Arcfield President and CEO Calgary Jacques Comtois and Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek at the announcement ceremony at Arcfield Canada Corp. Image courtesy of Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, George Chahal Facebook.

Member of Parliament Makes Announcement

The announcement about the new contract was made in mid-March when Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, George Chahal, visited Arcfield Canada. He made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of National Defence, Bill Blair, and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement, Jean-Yves Duclos.

“Today’s announcement is excellent news for the Royal Canadian Air Force and our world-class defence industry here in Alberta. By investing in a trusted Calgary company, our government is supporting good, skilled jobs for Albertans and ensuring that the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force will have the tools they need to do their jobs,” said Chahal on the occasion of the announcement.

A CF-188 Hornet pilot exits the aircraft after a flight at the Mihail Kogalniceanu (MK) Air Base in Romania during Operation REASSURANCE, October 17, 2022. Please credit: Corporal Eric Chaput, Canadian Armed Forces photo. Image courtesy of CAF. 

About CF-18

The CF-188 Hornet, more widely known as the CF-18, is Canada’s “multi-role fighter aircraft used for air defence, air superiority, ground attack tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation.”

According to DND, the RCAF currently has a fleet of 89 CF-18s.

“An integral component of Canada’s defence, the CF-18 has provided outstanding service at home and abroad for decades relying upon dedicated RCAF maintenance technicians and sustainment provided by our essential industry partners. This foundational sustainment will now continue with the award of this contract to a trusted partner, Arcfield Canada,” said LGen. E.J. Kenny, Commander of the RCAF.

Although the CF-18 has many great abilities, namely due to its speed and power, the fleet is set to expire in 2032. The government has plans to procure 88 F-35 fighter jets to replace the fleet.

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Mishall Rehman

Originally from Atlanta, GA, Mishall is a freelance journalist pursuing her passion for writing in her new homeland Canada. She currently lives in Trenton, ON with her husband.

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