An RCAF CF-18 takes off from CFB Bagotville, Que. on Thursday, June 7, 2018. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

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

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 10th annual Victor’s Secret Fashion Show has been postponed. (Victor’s Secret 2019 - North Island Gazette file photo)
COVID-19: 10th annual Victor’s Secret Fashion Show has been postponed

The fashion show is an annual fundraiser where local men wear bras made by community members.

Michele Babchuk with Premier John Horgan and Clerk of the Legislature Katy Ryan-Lloyd. (BC Legislature)
Babchuk sworn in to B.C.’s 42nd Legislature

Oath ceremony held with MLAs connecting through video

Over 6,000 customers were affected by the power outage that started on Nov. 17. (BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro crews worked 16 hour days to turn the North Island’s power back on

BC Hydro runs one transmission line to Northern Vancouver Island so there was no backup line.

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

British Columbia Premier John Horgan speaks during an announcement about a new regional cancer centre in Surrey, B.C., on Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020. Horgan is set to introduce his NDP government’s new cabinet Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP cabinet built to tackle pandemic, economic recovery, says former premier

Seven former NDP cabinet ministers didn’t seek re-election, creating vacancies in several high-profile portfolios

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The COVID-19 test centre at Peace Arch Hospital is located on the building’s south side. (Tracy Holmes photo)
B.C. woman calls for consistency in COVID-19 post-test messaging

‘Could we just get one thing straight?’ asks Surrey’s Deb Antifaev

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Most Read