Royal Canadian Air Force to Replace Aging Fleet with Airbus Aircraft

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Ottawa, March 2022 – The Royal Canadian Air Force has announced a contract valued at approximately 3.6 billion Canadian dollars (US$2.73 billion) to replace its aging fleet of long-range transport aircraft. Airbus Defence & Space has been chosen to supply nine aircraft to take the place of the current CC-150 Polaris fleet, which has been in service for over 30 years.

Next-Generation Fleet for Long-Term Operations

Under the terms of the agreement, Airbus will deliver four new Airbus A330 multirole tanker transport aircraft, as well as convert five used A330-200 aircraft. With an expected operational lifespan that extends into the 2050s, the new fleet, designated as the CC-330 Husky, will play a crucial role in air-to-air refueling operations. Moreover, it will have the capability to transport large numbers of Canadian Armed Forces personnel and equipment in support of both domestic and international operations and training activities.

Enhanced Capabilities with Fueling and Support

The CC-330 Husky will serve as a vital asset in refueling current and future Royal Canadian Air Force fighter aircraft, including the F-35, along with fighter jets utilized by the United States as part of NORAD and NATO partnerships. This capability showcases the aircraft’s versatility and reinforces Canada’s commitment to interagency cooperation.

Additionally, Airbus’s contract includes a comprehensive suite of training services aimed at enhancing crew readiness and maintaining high operational standards for the Canadian Armed Forces. These services will feature cutting-edge simulator devices to prepare crews for complex missions.

Production Details and Timelines

The newly-built A330-200s are anticipated to be assembled in Toulouse, France, with the first aircraft scheduled for delivery in 2027. This timeline underlines Airbus’s dedication to meeting the evolving needs of the Royal Canadian Air Force and ensuring a smooth transition to the new fleet.

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