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

Just Posted

On Remembrance Day, community pledges never to forget

Images from Remembrance Day ceremonies in Lantzville on Monday, Nov. 11

VIU graphic design students propose less wasteful packaging in new exhibition

‘Unwrapped’ show is on display at the school’s View Gallery until Dec. 1

Cadets begin 24-hour honour guard at Nanaimo cenotaph

Remembrance Day ceremony to be held Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. at Dallas Square

VIU Mariners soccer teams both earn silver medals at nationals

Vancouver Island University’s soccer sides stretch their seasons all the way to championship finals

Barsby shut down in football playoffs

AA varsity team eliminated, AA junior varsity team still in contention

Barsby shut down in football playoffs

AA varsity team eliminated, AA junior varsity team still in contention

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Dozens of planes went down on Vancouver Island training for war

Exhibit at Vancouver Island Military Museum depicts dangers of flying B.C. coast during war years

Man seriously injured after shock and fall from electrical tower in Nanaimo

20-year-old was being transported to hospital in Victoria

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Most Read