Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

January 25, 2011 11:50 ET

Minister MacKay Announces Investments in the Canadian Air Force

WINNIPEG, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - Jan. 25, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, announced support for the Air Force's vital role in the defence of Canada through significant investments in Canada's aerospace capabilities. The projects announced today include the modernization of radar systems at 4 Wing Cold Lake and 3 Wing Bagotville, as well as the acquisition of new aircraft cargo loaders, and an upgrade to 17 Wing Winnipeg's sewer system. Together, these investments will create or sustain an estimated total of 133 jobs across Canada.

"Our government's investments are helping to ensure that our airmen and women have the up-to-date equipment and infrastructure needed to perform their missions and build on their remarkable successes," said Minister MacKay. "We continue to demonstrate our commitment to providing the Canadian Forces the right equipment and facilities to do their jobs effectively."

Minister MacKay announced a $55.6 million contract awarded to Thales Canada Inc. for the acquisition of two modern deployable, tactical control radars under the TCR modernization project. The contract provides investment in Industrial and Regional Benefits at 100 per cent of the contract value, creating approximately 40 employment opportunities.

This project will replace aging radar systems and update supporting infrastructure to ensure the Canadian Forces maintain an effective long-range air surveillance and aerospace control capability in support of operations at home and abroad. These radars will serve at 4 Wing Cold Lake and 3 Wing Bagotville. First deliveries of these TCRs is expected by February, 2013. In total, the Government of Canada is investing upwards of $80 million in this project.

In addition, Minister MacKay announced a $5.6 million contract awarded to TLD America, with production at TLD Canada Inc. for the acquisition of 14 aircraft cargo loaders under the Omnibus Support Vehicle Replacement (OSVR) Project. The contract will help sustain approximately 85 employment opportunities at the TLD Canada Inc. production facility located in Sherbrooke, Québec.

These high capacity aircraft cargo loaders support the Air Force's tactical and strategic lift fleets located at various wings across the country, including 17 Wing. First deliveries of the aircraft cargo loaders are expected in Spring 2011, with full operational capability reached by Fall 2011.

"The Air Force is certainly appreciative of announcements that provide new equipment to further modernize our capabilities," said Major-General Yvan Blondin, Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division. "Acquisition of both the new tactical control radars and the cargo loaders will provide the Air Force with an even greater capacity to meet our ongoing commitments, both at home and abroad."

Minister MacKay also announced $1.6 million in funding for a sewer system upgrade project, which will replace current aging waste water management infrastructure at 17 Wing. This upgrade will permit the Wing to continue to meet today's stringent environmental protection standards. This project will create economic benefits for the local community, including approximately 8 employment opportunities over the course of the project.

In line with the Canada First Defence Strategy, there is a need to update and replace dated defence infrastructure and equipment to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

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