Ottawa to spend $2.3B replacing military’s ancient search-and-rescue planes

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National Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Thursday morning that the Airbus group has been chosen to replace Canada’s aging fleet of search and rescue aircraft – Dec 8, 2016

OTTAWA – The federal government says Canada will spend $2.3 billion to replace the military’s ancient search-and-rescue planes with 16 new aircraft from European aerospace giant Airbus.

Public Procurement Minister Judy Foote and Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan made the announcement in CFB Trenton this morning.

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Today’s announcement has been a long time coming.

The effort to replace the air force’s existing search-and-rescue planes, some of which have been flying since the 1960s, has been mired in controversy and delays for more than a decade.

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Sajjan says the new C-295 planes are a game-changer when it comes to the military responding to distress calls and other emergencies around the country.

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Foote says the contract will also benefit Canadian industry as Airbus has paired with a number of Canadian companies to provide the planes’ engines as well as simulators and long-term maintenance.