The Royal Canadian Air Force has ordered two Bombardier Challenger 650s, the Department of National Defence (DND) announced. The C$105 million ($78.3m) deal also includes a training and spares package.
Delivery of the off-the-shelf aircraft is expected in the summer, with initial operational capability targeted for the fall. The aircraft will join 412 “Falcon” Transport Squadron at Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, which currently operates four Challengers.
The new Challenger 650s will replace 412 Squadron’s remaining pair of CC-144Bs, which are based on the CL-601 model and were delivered in the 1980s. The unit’s other two aircraft are CC-144Cs, based on the CL-604 and delivered in the 2000s. This pair does not face the obsolescence issues of the older aircraft.
The retiring aircraft fall short of operational requirements and are nearly obsolete due to new rules in the United States and Europe that will restrict their ability to fly internationally before the end of this year.
The replacement ensures CAF can continue to operate a modern and flexible utility flight service fleet that serves a variety of roles – including reconnaissance and liaison missions with international partners, and the speedy deployment of specialized capabilities and expertise, including the Disaster Assistance Response Team.
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