Back to news

July 11, 2023 | Local, Aerospace

Statement on a joint coalition on F-16 training of the Ukrainian Air Force

July 11, 2023 – Ottawa, ON – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

The Ministers of Defence of Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom share the conviction that continued support to Ukraine is of utmost importance in the light of Russia’s brutal and unprovoked aggression.

The parties agree that in order to assist Ukraine in the defence of its airspace, they will establish a joint coalition on training of the Ukrainian Air Force in operating and maintaining F-16 fighter aircraft, in accordance with the necessary authorizations and with the possibility to include other types of fighter aircraft at a later stage.

The parties agree to commence training of relevant Ukrainian pilots, technicians and support staff, which will provide the Ukrainian Air Force with basic capabilities of operating, servicing and maintaining F-16 fighter aircraft. This includes making relevant equipment, trainers and other staff available for such training. All training activities will be conducted outside of Ukraine.

The coalition’s focus will be on training, but will also in due course be ready to consider other lines of effort related to ensuring Ukraine a fully functional F-16 capability.

On the same subject

  • New fighter jets ‘can’t arrive quickly enough,’ Canada’s top military commander says

    December 31, 2018 | Local, Aerospace

    New fighter jets ‘can’t arrive quickly enough,’ Canada’s top military commander says

    By BRUCE CAMPION-SMITH Ottawa Bureau OTTAWA—A new fighter jet “can't arrive quickly enough” for Canada's Air Force as it deals with aging CF-18s that are approaching the end of their useful life, the country's top military commander says. Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff, acknowledged that an old fighter and personnel shortages present challenges for the Air Force. “The F-18 is clearly an aircraft that is one that is coming to the end of its useful life. But it's not at the end,” Vance told the Star in a year-end interview. “I'm real keen to get the future fighter in place as quickly as possible. Until then we've got the F-18. We're going to have to invest in it to ensure that our aircrew, the RCAF, can continue to ... protect Canada and Canadians and be valued in operations,” he said. A recent report by the federal auditor general's office put the challenges facing the Air Force into stark focus with its findings that the CF-18s, first delivered in 1982, are increasingly obsolete. But more critically, the report said the bigger challenge was a shortage of technicians to maintain the 76 existing jets and pilots to fly them. Vance said the military is moving to address its personnel shortages. On the pilot front, the problem isn't attracting new recruits, he said. It's training them and then keeping them in uniform at a time when civilian airlines are dangling the promise of big paycheques and better quality of life. “I'm not going to lie to you. It's not going to be easy,” Vance said. “There's no way we're ever going to be able to compete with private industry. We never have. You don't join the military for the paycheque,” he said. But he said the Air Force is considering a number of measures, from better compensation and benefits to addressing complaints about postings and desk jobs that contribute to drive pilots from the ranks. Lt.-Gen. Al Meinzinger, RCAF commander, told the Commons public accounts committee in December that pilots quit because of family challenges, tempo of operations, work-life balance and geographic postings. “My assessment is that it's going to take us approximately five to seven years to grow the crew force. Again, a lot of the considerations are in the future. We have to stave off the attrition we're experiencing today. We're getting at that as a priority in terms of some of the retention ideas we have,” Meinzinger told the committee. A tortured procurement stretching over several governments, with several false starts, has delayed the purchase of new fighters, leaving the Air Force with the CF-18s, which require 24 hours of maintenance for every hour they fly. Jody Thomas, the deputy minister of defence, told the Commons public accounts committee in December the government now expects to release a request for proposals next spring with bids submitted in 2020 and a contract award in 2022. Under that timeline, deliveries of 88 new fighters would occur between 2025 and 2032. “We expect to achieve initial operating capability by 2026 with nine advanced fighters ready to fulfil the NORAD mission,” Thomas said. That still means the CF-18s have to remain airworthy and combat capable for up to 12 more years to help bridge the transition, a tall order for jets that are already three decades old. To help augment the fleet and spread the flying hours, the federal government has purchased 18 used F-18s from Australia. The first of those aircraft is expected to arrive late winter. They will require maintenance checks and some upgrades to make them compatible with existing fleet. National Defence expects to spend almost $3 billion to extend the life of its current fleet and to buy, operate and maintain the interim aircraft. The auditor general's report noted the CF-18 has not undergone any significant upgrade to its combat capabilities since 2008. That's because the Air Force thought they would be replaced. Now, analysis is underway on how best to upgrade some of the CF-18s as early as 2020 in the areas of sensors, weapons, self-protection and mission support capabilities. “Those capability upgrades are sufficient ... to keep the aircraft at an acceptable level of combat capability until the future fleet arrives,” Vance said. Bruce Campion-Smith is an Ottawa-based reporter covering national politics. Follow him on Twitter: @yowflier

  • Royal Canadian Air Force to upgrade CF-18A Hornets with Raytheon AESA radars

    September 27, 2021 | Local, Aerospace, C4ISR

    Royal Canadian Air Force to upgrade CF-18A Hornets with Raytheon AESA radars

    The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) plans to upgrade some of its ageing Boeing CF-18A Hornets with Raytheon Technologies’ APG-79(V)4 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars.

  • Contracts awarded to enhance tracking and detecting capabilities of Halifax-class frigates

    February 4, 2019 | Local, Naval

    Contracts awarded to enhance tracking and detecting capabilities of Halifax-class frigates

    February 1st, 2019 –– Halifax (N.-S.) –– National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces As outlined in Canada's defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, the Government of Canada is providing the Royal Canadian Navy with enhanced naval intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems. Today, on behalf of Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development, announced the award of two contracts valued at $186 million to General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada to upgrade and maintain underwater sensors installed in the modernized Halifax-class frigates. The majority of this work will occur in Canada, creating and maintaining about 120 highly skilled jobs while supporting the continued growth and competitive advantage of the underwater sensor industrial capabilities in Canada. As a result of this investment, the Halifax-class frigates will be able to detect quieter targets at increased ranges. In addition, improved automation will allow sonar operators to improve their underwater warfare performance work and to focus on other priorities. This will make our frigates more effective in both coastal regions and the open-ocean. The Halifax-class multi-role frigates will remain the key contributor to naval operations for the next 20 years. The contracts announced today will increase the frigates' overall ability to deal with emerging and future threats, and ensure that the women and men of our Royal Canadian Navy have what they need to do the important job we ask of them. Quotes “Through our defence policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we are investing in the women and men of our Royal Canadian Navy and making sure they are well equipped to address emerging threats. Threat detection is critical to initiate rapid defence countermeasures that protect our sailors and our ships. As the security environment continues to evolve, we will continue to adapt our naval capabilities, enabling effective defence of Canadian waters and meaningful contribution to international operations and exercises.” Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence “Communities across Canada, and here in Nova Scotia, will greatly benefit from this important long-term investment in skilled employment in Canada's technology sector. Our Government is making sure defence contracts bring prosperity and support as well as critical Canadian Armed Forces equipment. ” Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development “The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy helps to create jobs, supports innovation and stimulates economic growth in Canadian communities. These contracts will continue to advance Key Industrial Capabilities in Canada and help support our Royal Canadian Navy.” Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development “Our Government is committed to building a more agile, better-equipped military, while supporting the Canadian economy. These enhancements to the Halifax-class frigates will provide the Royal Canadian Navy with the latest technology it needs to detect incoming threats.” Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Accessibility “Defence contracts create tangible benefits for Canadians. These defence contracts will bring highly skilled jobs and generate economic opportunities to communities on the East Coast and in Canada for many years, while supporting the operations of the Royal Canadian Navy. Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism Quick facts Halifax-class frigate sonar operators detect, locate and track surface and sub-surface threats through the continuous monitoring and collection of information via high-tech sensors. The $186 million contracts include acquisition and upgrade for the first six Halifax-class frigates ($103 million) and in-service support (potentially $83 million). The contracts include options to upgrade all twelve Halifax-class frigates, which would bring the acquisition portion of to $170 million. The in-service support contract will maintain and sustain upgraded suites for up to 23 years, if all options are exercised. The first installation of the upgraded underwater warfare suite is expected to be completed in 2021 and operational in 2022. Licensed Defence Research and Development Canada Intellectual Property forms the basis of the winning technical bid for the UWSU Project. A repository of re-usable software has been developed over 25 years by DRDC in support of RCN and RCAF technology demonstration projects in underwater warfare. The Industrial and Technological Benefits Policy applies to this project, creating jobs and supporting key industrial capabilities in Canada. Associated links Canadian Patrol Frigates Halifax-class modernization and frigate life extension

All news