Canada to upgrade CFB Trenton for $628M to host CC-330 Husky aircraft

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The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) will invest CAD 850 million ($628 million) in upgrading the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton to accommodate Canada’s new fleet of CC-330 Husky Strategic Tanker Transport Aircraft.

The substantial investment will be directed towards essential airfield and infrastructure improvements at Trenton. Among the planned upgrades are the development and design of a two-bay hangar, enhancements to the apron and runway, taxiways, and other supporting infrastructure. These renovations are vital for CFB Trenton to serve as the Eastern Main Operating Base for the incoming CC-330 Husky fleet.

The announcement follows the Government of Canada’s contract award to Airbus Defence and Space in July 2023, valued at CAD 3 billion ($2.2 billion), for the procurement of four newly built Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and the conversion of five used A330-200s.

The A330 MRTT, designated CC-330 Husky for the Canadian Armed Forces, was selected over the Boeing KC-46 Pegasus as part of the Strategic Tanker Transport Capability (STTC) program. This initiative aims to modernize and expand the RCAF’s aging fleet of CC-150 Polaris aircraft.

Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair emphasized the significance of the STTC Project, which will see Canada acquiring nine CC-330 Husky aircraft, effectively doubling the size of the previous fleet. Presently, two Husky aircraft have been delivered to Canada, with the second joining the fleet on February 16, 2024.

While initially configured for transport, the CC-330 Husky will undergo conversion to serve as a multi-role tanker transport aircraft, providing the RCAF with enhanced capabilities for various air mobility missions, including air-to-air refueling, passenger transport, aeromedical evacuation, and strategic transport.

During his visit, Blair also welcomed a new addition to the Canadian Armed Forces fleet: the CE-145C Vigilance. This modified Beechcraft King Air 350ER turboprop aircraft, produced by L3 Harris, will bolster the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command (CANSOFCOM) with a manned airborne intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance (MAISR) capability. Equipped with sensors and secure communications equipment, these aircraft will significantly enhance situational awareness and decision-making capabilities during ground operations.

“With new fleets of fighter jets, maritime patrol aircraft, tanker and transport aircraft, and more arriving throughout the next few years, we are building the Royal Canadian Air Force of tomorrow,” Blair commented. “These significant investments in our military will enable the RCAF to better defend Canada and strengthen Canada’s ability to contribute to our NORAD and NATO Alliances.”

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