Canada to invest $2.5 billion to modernize Canadian military equipment

The federal government says it’s about to spend $2 billion to build a new generation of Canada’s war-fighting equipment.

The announcement came in the form of a memorandum of understanding with the United States, the Canadian defence department said Monday.

The memorandum of intent, or MOI, covers the purchase of the new equipment to be developed by Canadian industry.

The Canadian Forces say they’ll receive about $2 million per aircraft.

The deal also includes the delivery of about $1.6 billion in defence-related goods, technology and support.

The purchase will create more than 1,000 jobs and increase the Canadian Armed Forces’ global footprint by about 50 per cent, the defence department says.

The MoU will see the government buy approximately 1,600 helicopters and 4,500 aircraft.

“The MoU is an investment that will strengthen our ability to respond to threats across the world,” Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson said in a statement.

“It will provide Canada with more capability in the future to meet the evolving security challenges facing our country.”

The Canadian military has been plagued by a series of high-profile incidents, including the deaths of four soldiers in the Afghanistan conflict and the abduction of two Canadian soldiers in northern Iraq in 2014.

The defence minister says Canada will use the MoU to modernise equipment for a variety of missions, including air defence, air assault, counter-terrorism, and reconnaissance.

“This agreement will allow us to modern and improve our current, existing and future capabilities,” Nicholson said.

The military also says it plans to spend about $600 million to upgrade its fleet of fighter jets, including some of the F-35 fighter jets it has purchased from Lockheed Martin Corp. in the United Kingdom.

Nicholson says the upgrades will give the F/A-18 Super Hornet better range, more maneuverability and greater survivability.

“These upgrades will also ensure that we are able to respond effectively to future threats and provide the capability to provide immediate and timely support to Canadian forces on the ground,” he said.

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