While I, and the Trudeau regime, and now Michael Ferguson, the Auditor General, are fussing over how to replace our fleet of 35+ years old CF-18 Hornets ~ the Liberals plan to buy more 35+ years old used Hornets from Australia to close a fictional “capability gap” that they, Team Trudeau, created ~ there is another aircraft that is even older and is in need of replacement: the venerable CP-140 Aurora Long Range Patrol Aircraft, which entered service nearly 40 years ago. These long range patrol aircraft (sometimes, erroneously, called maritime patrol aircraft ~ but they did excellent work over Iraq and Syria, too) are involved in four of the 11 capabilities that I said were essential for the defence of Canada.
Our Auroras are, by all accounts, still doing yeoman service in operations and in training thanks to ongoing technical upgrades, world beating ground (maintenance) crews and excellent air crews, too … but they cannot and will not last forever.
Now I see that New Zealand “will soon join their British and Australian counterparts in operating the P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft after the New Zealand government confirmed an order for four aircraft to replace their ageing P-3 Orion fleet.” The American Navy’s P8 Poseidon, which is based on Boeing‘s 737-800 platform, is then the choice of four of the “five eyes” partners (only Canada is missing) plus India. That four of our closest allies are replacing the same platform as we fly, at this time, suggests that it might be time for us to change aircraft, too.
Of course the fact that the P8 Poseidon is a fairly obvious choice for Canada is complicated by the fact that it is a Boeing aircraft and that company was, a year ago, anyway, Team Trudeau’s (Bombardier‘s) enemy.
There is some dark humour over at air-force.ca suggesting that Team Trudeau’s solution will be to buy New Zealand’s used P3 Orions (first cousins to our CP-140s) … but the fact is that Canada needs a plan, now, to replace our CP-140 fleet but, as always, Justin Trudeau doesn’t want to hear about military operations requirements unless, I suppose, it might be for a few more more French speaking, female, First Nations soldiers to go fight global warming somewhere. It’s not much of a strategy, but it played well in a few constituencies that the Liberals needed in 2015 and which they will need even more in 2019.