The Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) has announced plans to purchase a fifth CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft to increase the national air force’s current fleet.
Apart from enhancing the Canadian Armed Forces’ response capability to both domestic and international emergencies, the new aircraft would also provide support to a range of missions, including humanitarian assistance, peace support and combat.
Canadian Defence Minister Rob Nicholson said: "Having a fifth C-17 will significantly augment the flexibility of the Canadian Armed Forces’ strategic airlift, allowing our men and women in uniform to respond quickly when and where necessary."
Canadian Public Works and Government Services Minister Diane Finley said: "Our government continues to proudly provide the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment they need to do their jobs we ask of them , while leveraging military purchases, like this one, to generate economic benefits for companies right here in Canada."
Supplied by Boeing, the additional aircraft would ease the burden on the current fleet and extend the life expectancy of the entire fleet by approximately seven and a half years.
In addition, the acquisition will enable the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) to keep at least three CC-177 aircraft available more than 90% of the time to respond to concurrent international or domestic crises, which equates to an increase of nearly 25%.
The CC-177 fleet is currently playing an integral role in ferrying supplies and soldiers to Kuwait to establish and resupply the Canadian camp through Operation Impact, while delivering essential armaments and materiel to CF-18s deployed in Lithuania in support of Nato as part of Op Reassurance and the international response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.
Implemented through the industrial and technological benefits policy, the procurement would cost DND an estimated $415m, in addition to $30m for 12 years of integrated in-service support.
Image: A Royal Canadian Air Force’s CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft on approach to CFB Trenton, Canada. Photo: courtesy of Robert Taylor.