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Modernization of the Royal Canadian Air Force

A statement from the Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny on the Multi-Engine Utility Flight contract also gave a good glimpse of the future of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

The RCAF is undergoing one of its most significant modernization efforts since the end of the Second World War. In just over one year, the Government of Canada has announced the procurement of 88 F-35 fighter jets, up to 16 P-8A Poseidon Maritime Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft, 11 MQ-9 Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, and 9 CC-330 Husky Multi-Role Tanker and Transport aircraft. These are historic additions to the RCAF fleet that will significantly enhance Canada’s military capabilities.

“We must focus our investments towards cutting-edge technologies so that we can face the challenges of the future. As part of our efforts to focus investments, to prioritize Canadian Armed Forces reconstitution efforts, and to support the ongoing federal efforts to reduce the federal deficit, the Royal Canadian Air Force will not exercise its two, one-year options for renewal under the Multi-Engine Utility Flight (MEUF) contract with Air Tindi currently operating out of 8 Wing Trenton.”

Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force, Lieutenant-General Eric Kenny

By not exercising the RCAF’s two, one-year lease options, DND/CAF will save approximately $3.6 million per option year (approximately $7.2 million in total).

The MEUF leases two King Air BE350 aircraft. The MEUF does not offer a direct operational output like other higher-priority, combat capable platforms, and the decision to not exercise contract option years of the MEUF will have no impact on operational roles within the Royal Canadian Air Force.

The two MEUF aircraft provide continuation training to newly winged multi engine pilots and provide the CAF with personnel transport and limited utility capabilities. Going forward, RCAF pilots will be able to maintain and enhance their proficiency using cutting-edge training technologies, including by flying more modern aircraft.

Starting March 31, 2024, the functions provided by the MEUF will be absorbed by the RCAF’s expanding fleet of other aircraft models such as the CC-130J Hercules, CC-150 Polaris, CC-330 Husky and CC-144 Challenger.

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