Tag: Canada

RCAF to help restore Lancaster bomber in preparation for its 100th anniversary

Lancaster bomber KB882

Ownership of Lancaster bomber KB882 was transferred Wednesday from the City of Edmundston to the National Air Force Museum of Canada in Trenton, Ont. Now the Royal Canadian Air Force will begin dismantling the plane and prepare it for transportation to the museum.

KB882 symbolizes the more than 50,000 Canadians who served in Bomber Command during the Second World War and the nearly 10,000 who lost their lives, according to the RCAF.

In addition, the aircraft represents the roles that were also conducted by Lancasters during the postwar period; those include contribution to the RCAF’s Arctic patrol activities and aerial photographic work as Canada charted its wilderness.

“Lancaster KB882 tangibly represents the RCAF’s transition from war to peacetime activities,” Lieutenant-General Mike Hood, Commander, Royal Canadian Air Force, said in a statement.As the RCAF looks towards its 100th anniversary in 2024, Lancaster KB882 will serve as a valuable anchor for our commemorative activities, and a beacon for the preservation of RCAF and Canadian history and heritage.”

A combined team from the RCAF’s Aerospace and Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron (ATESS) and the National Air Force Museum of Canada are now dismantling KB882.

The work is expected to take three to four weeks, and it is anticipated that the RCAF will transport KB882 to Trenton by the end of October, according to the RCAF. This will be the third time that KB882 will be worked on by ATESS (and its predecessor 6 Repair Depot). The aircraft passed through their hands in 1954 and 1964.

When the aircraft arrives in Trenton, it will be restored to her post-war Mark 10 AR (area reconnaissance) configuration with the aid of donations and volunteer efforts. Restoration is expected to take five to seven years.

When KB882 is on display for public viewing, the National Air Force Museum of Canada will be the only museum in the world to have in its collection a fully restored Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster, the RCAF noted.

Built by Victory Aircraft Ltd. in Malton, Ont., KB882 flew several combat missions over Europe before returning to Canada in 1945. In 1952, the aircraft underwent a major overhaul and conversion to area reconnaissance. Assigned to the photo-reconnaissance role with 408 Squadron at RCAF Station Rockcliffe, in Ottawa, in 1953, KB882 proved instrumental in the mapping and charting of Canada’s Arctic.

The aircraft was also used as an electronic and photographic intelligence gathering platform during the Cold War.

Shortly after retirement in 1964, KB882 was sold to the City of Edmundston where it has been displayed at the Edmundston Airport.


Canadian Navy ‘X-Ship’ frigate arrives in Europe

Canadian Navy file photo of HMCS Montréal

Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Montréal arrived in Western Europe on September 18 for three months of exercises with European and NATO partners.

Deploying as part of the Royal Canadian Navy’s overarching deployment Neptune Trident 17-02, HMCS Montréal is to take part in the US-led ballistic missile defense drill Formidable Shield, which is being held in Scottish waters between September and October.

In addition to Formidable Shield, Montréal will join the Royal Navy’s bi-annual multinational exercise Joint Warrior which will involve over 20 warships in addition to aircraft and marines.

During her three months in the North Atlantic, the frigate will also continue her experimentation activities associated with the X-Ship program and initiatives, which are focused on supporting future classes of ships such as the Canadian Surface Combatant.

The experimental ship – or X-Ship – program is designed to advance naval concepts in all areas of warship deployment, crewing and sustainment. Many of the trials conducted will focus on human factors such as variations of crew size and impacts on crew rest and performance, as well as some operational trials.


Boeing fires back in response to Trudeau statement, Bombardier jumps in

Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had some of his toughest language yet for Boeing in the ongoing trade dispute that has affected the purchase of Super Hornets as interim fighter jets.

“We have obviously been looking at the Super Hornet aircraft from Boeing as a potential significant procurement of our new fighter jets,” Trudeau said Monday. “”But we won’t do business with a company that’s busy trying to sue us and trying to put our aerospace workers out of business.”

The full story can be read here

Boeing has countered with this statement:

“Boeing is not suing Canada. This is a commercial dispute with Bombardier, which has sold its C Series airplane in the United States at absurdly low prices, in violation of U.S. and global trade laws. Bombardier has sold airplanes in the U.S. for millions of dollars less than it has sold them in Canada, and millions of dollars less than it costs Bombardier to build them.

This is a classic case of dumping, made possible by a major injection of public funds. This violation of trade law is the only issue at stake at the US Department of Commerce.  We like competition.

It makes us better.  And Bombardier can sell its aircraft anywhere in the world.  But competition and sales must respect globally-accepted trade law. We are simply using laws that have been on the books for decades and subjecting them to a fair hearing based on the facts.”

Bombardier added its voice to the debate in a statement on its website entitled, “Boeing’s Hypocrisy.”

“Bombardier shares Boeing’s commitment to a level playing field, but in this case, they were not even on the field.  Delta ordered the C Series because Boeing stopped making an aircraft of the size Delta needed years ago.

It is pure hypocrisy for Boeing to say that the C Series launch pricing is a “violation of global trade law” when Boeing does the same for its new aircraft.

Boeing’s self-serving actions threaten thousands of aerospace jobs around the world, including thousands of U.K. and U.S. jobs and billions of purchases from the many U.K. and U.S. suppliers who build components for the C Series.

The U.S. government should reject Boeing’s attempt to tilt the playing field in its favor and impose an indirect tax on the U.S. flying public through unjustified import tariffs.”


The latest update on the Canadian government’s dispute with Boeing

CF-188 Hornet

Reuters news service is now reporting an update on the ongoing interim Super Hornet issue. It reports that Canada last month attempted to end the dispute with Boeing Co. by suggesting it could withdraw a threat not to buy Super Hornet jets if the U.S. firm dropped a trade challenge against Bombardier Inc.

I don’t know if this is exactly a great revelation though. The position of the Liberal government since April/May – when it put the brakes on the Super Hornet deal – has been pretty much that.  Drop the complaint about Bombardier or we won’t buy the Super Hornets.

Boeing has complained to the U.S. government that Bombardier is receiving subsidies, which in turn, allowed it to sell its C-Series civilisn aircraft at below-market prices. Boeing convinced the U.S. Commerce Department and International Trade Commission to launch an investigation into Bombardier.

The Trudeau government revealed Tuesday that it held talks last month with Boeing in hopes of convincing the U.S. aerospace giant to drop its case against Bombardier at the U.S. Commerce Department.

Those talks broke down when, according to Canada’s ambassador to the U.S., David MacNaughton, Boeing decided to stop negotiating. “We had some proposals back and forth and then they walked away,” MacNaughton said in St. John’s, where federal cabinet ministers were meeting to strategize before the return of Parliament next week.

“For whatever reason, they (Boeing) decided they weren’t going to continue to have discussions with us.”

Boeing has repeatedly argued that military purchases shouldn’t be linked to the commercial interests of a country’s aerospace firm.
On Sept. 25 we will get a better idea of the outcome of this dispute. That’s when the initial ruling on whether the U.S. will impose tarrifs on Bombardier for its civilian C-Series aircraft will be released.
(with files from the Canadian Press)




RCAF and vintage aircraft to conduct flybys in Gatineau for Battle of Britain anniversary

Royal Canadian Air Force Vets stand on parade as a Second World War Lancaster bomber flies past during a Battle of Britain memorial at the Canadian Aviation Museum in 2004. Chris Mikula / Ottawa Citizen

Aircraft from the Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft, including the Snowbirds, as well as Vintage Wings of Canada and the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, will conduct flybys of the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport on Sunday to mark the 77th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

Members of the public are invited to attend the ceremony at the Gatineau-Ottawa Executive Airport which begins at 10 a.m. and goes till noon.

Royal Canadian Air Force personnel, veterans and Royal Canadian Air Cadets will be on parade to pay tribute to Canadian and allied sacrifices made during the pivotal Second World War battle.

Members of the public who would like to attend the parade or view the aircraft flybys can park in the grass field off Rue Arthur Fecteau.  Entrances to the parade and viewing areas will be marked. An accessible entrance is located on Rue Arthur Fecteau, beside the Vintage Wings of Canada Hangar. All attendees may be subject to search upon entry.

Low level flying: Weather permitting, vintage and current Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft will fly over the ceremony at an altitude no lower than 1000 feet above the highest point of the airport before resuming a higher flying altitude. These flybys will conclude with a non-aerobatic flying display by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen David Pugliese, Ottawa Citizen


Photos: Canadian howitzers in action in Latvia

Members from 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Z Battery of the Canadian Armed Forces fire the M777 Howitzer guns that have been deployed in support of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE, at Camp Ādaži, Latvia, on September 10, 2017. Photo: Sergeant Bernie Kuhn, Task Force Latvia RP13-2017-0065-003

Members from 1 Royal Canadian Horse Artillery Z Battery of the Canadian Armed Forces fire the M777 Howitzer guns that have been deployed in support of NATO’s enhanced Forward Presence Battlegroup Latvia as part of Operation REASSURANCE at Camp Ādaži, Latvia, on September 10, 2017.

Photos by Sergeant Bernie Kuhn, Task Force Latvia


Canadian Coast Guard science vessel almost completed at Seaspan


I recently toured the Seaspan’s Vancouver Shipyards where work is underway on the Canadian Coast Guard vessels. The yard has almost completed its work on the Canadian Coast Guard’s Offshore Fisheries Science Vessels. The first ship, Sir John Franklin, will be launched at the beginning of December.

A second, as yet unnamed offshore fisheries science vessel, will be launched in April 2018 and the final one in November of that year.





Canada’s decision to lead NATO battle group in Latvia promotes security, cooperation – Vejonis

Canada’s decision to become the lead nation of NATO’s multinational battle group in Latvia has been promoting not only security, but also political and economic cooperation between the two countries, President Raimonds Vejonis said during a meeting with George Furey, Speaker of the Senate of Canada, today.

The Latvian president thanked Canada for its contribution to Latvia’s security as the lead nation by undertaking command of the NATO battle group in Latvia in accordance with the agreement reached at the Alliance’s summit in Warsaw.

“At a time when Russia is staging a major military training exercise at the Baltic states’ borders, we appreciate the enhanced allied presence in the region. The Canada-led NATO battle group has achieved full operational readiness,” President Vejonis said.

The Latvian president also noted increasing cooperation between NATO and the EU in countering hybrid threats and the significance of strategic communication, stressing the NATO mission’s deterrence message and praising Canada’s support to the Riga-based NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence (StratCom).

Vejonis also voiced satisfaction about the delivery on the new generation Bombardier CS 300 passenger aircraft to Latvia’s airBaltic national carrier whose upgraded fleet will allow for saving costs and ensure more environment-friendly operations.

The Latvian president also mentioned active political dialogue and economic cooperation between the two countries, noting that Latvia was the first EU member states to ratify the EU-Canada free trade agreement (CETA).

“Trade turnover with Canada has significantly increased in recent years, and CETA will provide new opportunities to entrepreneurs of both countries. We hope to develop closer economic cooperation by diversifying Latvian export of goods and attracting Canadian investment,” President Vejonis said.

Furey and his delegation are in Latvia on an official visit from September 12 to 16.


French Defense Minister in Tallinn: Zapad is ”strategy of intimidation”

French Defense Minister Florence Parly

French Defense Minister Florence Parly on Thursday condemned a major upcoming Russian military exercise Zapad 2017 on the borders of the EU and NATO as a deliberate “strategy of intimidation”.

The Zapad 2017 exercise which Russia will hold from next week in Belarus and its western exclave of Kaliningrad has caused alarm in the Baltic states and Poland and drawn criticism from the US and NATO for a lack of transparency.

Russia has said the exercises will involve about 12,700 Russian and Belarusian troops and are “purely defensive” in nature — an assessment rejected by many Western observers.

Parly, speaking at a gathering of EU foreign ministers in Tallinn, said it was clear Moscow was pursuing a “deliberate, intentional” strategy of showing off its military might.

“It is particularly important in this context that we reaffirm our presence in the face of this expression and this demonstration the Russians are making which is a strategy of intimidation — we must not hide that fact,” she said.

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said it was clear that Zapad was in fact about showing off Russian force.

“It is undisputed that we see a demonstration of capabilities and power of the Russians. Anyone who doubts that only has to look at the high numbers of the participating forces in the Zapad exercise: more than 100,000,” she said.

To counter growing Russian assertiveness in recent years, particularly since the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, NATO has stationed about 4,000 troops in the three Baltic countries and Poland.
Parly said the deployment sent a clear signal that the Baltic states and Poland were covered by the NATO alliance.

AFP – Baltic News Service.

Bids for Canada’s $62-billion warship program expected in by early November — with a chance for a do-over

An aerial image of Irving Shipbuilding’s Halifax Shipyard.

The Canadian government expects bids for a multi-billion dollar fleet of new warships to be submitted by early November, with a winner selected sometime next year. But bidders will be allowed a one-time free pass if their proposals initially don’t meet Canada’s requirements, giving them the opportunity to rejig their bids for the $62-billion program.

“They’ll get feedback on whether the bids meet all of Canada’s mandatory requirements,” Lisa Campbell, an assistant deputy minister at Public Services and Procurement Canada, said in an interview. “Where there are gaps they’ll be allowed one time — only once — to submit additional information to demonstrate that their bids meet our requirements.”

She said having that option improves the competition in the long run and removes past issues where firms had been punted immediately for not meeting all criteria.

Canada has pre-approved 12 firms to bid on various aspects of the Canadian Surface Combatant program, which will see Irving Shipbuilding construct a fleet of new ships for the Royal Canadian Navy.

The Surface Ship Combatant Program is intended to replace the Halifax-class Frigate. HMCS St. John’s (pictured)

Those companies will receive the final bid package by the end of the month, and will then have another month to prepare their proposals. “We expect the final date for submission is early November,” Campbell said.

Evaluation of the bids was originally expected to be finished by the end of this year but that has been delayed slightly, added Campbell. Instead, bids will be evaluated in early 2018 and a winner is expected to be determined later that year. Construction of the ships would begin in the early 2020s, Campbell said.

She said at this point no company has withdrawn from the program. Some industry officials, however, predict that may soon happen as a number of firms could decide that bidding on the program is not worth their while.

Campbell said she believes that concerns over companies having to turn over the intellectual property rights on equipment they’ve developed have been dealt with. “We think we’ve struck the right balance,” she added. “Canada will make sure that whatever we pay to develop, we own. For the rest we have licensing and access.”

The program calls for the construction of 15 ships. The original budget for the CSC program was $26.2 billion, or $1.7 billion per ship for 15 ships. But parliamentary budget officer Jean-Denis Fréchette estimates the program will cost $61.82 billion, or $4.1 billion per ship — roughly 2.4 times more than originally budgeted.

This estimate includes costs resulting from development, production, spare parts, ammunition, training, government program management and upgrades to existing facilities. It does not include costs associated with the operation, maintenance and mid-life refurbishment of the ships, other than the spare parts that will be purchased when the ships are built, the PBO said in a June report.

The PBO also estimated the cost due to inflation for delaying the awarding of the contract after 2018. “We estimate that for each year of delay, the program would cost about $3 billion more,” Fréchette wrote in the study.

Irving Shipbuilding president Kevin McCoy has said his firm is ramping up to work on the CSC, with its current workforce of around 1,800 expected to grow to 2,400 by 2020.

The date for submitting bids has been extended a number of times. The original deadline was set for April 27, 2017. It was then extended to June 22, and after that extended again to sometime in August. Potential bidders had previously complained they didn’t have enough time to recruit Canadian firms to work with them on the program. Promoting industrial benefits for Canadian companies is a key aspect of the government’s overall shipbuilding approach.




Royal Canadian Air Force supports Hurricane Harvey Relief Flight to Texas

Royal Canadian Air Force CC130J Hercules preparing to support the US in the Hurricane Harvey crisis

News Release

September 3, 2017 – Trenton, Ontario – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

A Royal Canadian Air Force CC130J Hercules departed 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario today, for Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, carrying humanitarian supplies from the Government of Canada to aid in Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

In the wake of the hurricane, the Government of Canada offered to assist with relief efforts and the United States accepted this offer through its Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The RCAF airlift is part of a Whole of Government response to the relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Harvey that has caused a mandatory evacuation of approximately 750,000 people with an additional 1.1 million people who are under a voluntary evacuation order along the Gulf Coast.



“Like all good neighbours, Canada and the United States are there for each other in times of crisis. Canadians can be proud that ‎the Royal Canadian Air Force is well-suited to humanitarian missions at home and abroad thanks to its agility, flexibility and professionalism. The Canadian Armed Forces will continue to work with other departments in the Canadian government as well as our partners in the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be responsive to requests for aid as our American friends and neighbours recover from the horrors of Hurricane Harvey.”

— Harjit S. Sajjan, Defence Minister

Quick Facts

  • The relief supplies on this flight included baby formula, blankets, cribs, and similar items. Supplies will be sent to Lackland Air Force Base, near San Antonio, Texas.
  • A CC130J Hercules is being used to transport the supplies. This aircraft is well-suited to disaster relief operations and humanitarian missions. The CC130J Hercules is a four-engine turboprop tactical transport aircraft with a rear cargo ramp and rugged landing gear. It is used for troop transport, tactical airlift (both palletized and vehicular cargo) and humanitarian missions. It has a maximum payload of 48,000 lbs / 21,772 kg.
  • Members of 8 Wing Trenton have diverse responsibilities, from delivering supplies to the Canadian Forces Station Alert in the high Arctic to airlifting troops, equipment, and humanitarian loads worldwide. They are adaptable and well-prepared to support disaster assistance missions throughout the world.

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