In recent years, the Harper Government has made major investments in the country's military capabilities in support of the Canada First Defence Strategy. The Strategy sets out a detailed road map for the modernization of the Canadian Forces. It will increase the size of the Forces and replace core capabilities through stable and predictable defence funding, including balanced investments across the four pillars upon which military capabilities are built: personnel, equipment, readiness and infrastructure. The Strategy will ensure a first-class, modern military, one that is well-trained, well-equipped and ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century. It also presents unprecedented opportunities for Canadian industry in its reach for global excellence.
The Government has extended its Systems Engineering Support Contract (SESC) for the CF-18 Primary Air Vehicle (PAV) to L-3 Communications MAS of Mirabel, Quebec until at least 2017. This seven-year contract extension is valued at $467 million, which sustains approximately 500 jobs annually. The contract extension also includes three additional one-year extension options, valued in total at $86 million, which would bring the in-service support contract to the end of the fleet's estimated service life of 2020.
Under the SESC, L-3 Communications MAS of Mirabel, Quebec, in partnership with the Government of Canada, is responsible for the development, engineering and maintenance of the CF-18 fleet. The contractor's primary responsibility for the CF-18 fleet is development and maintenance work that includes:
The CF-18 will remain in service as Canada's front-line tactical fighter aircraft until at least the 2017 timeframe, when Canada's next generation fighter capability, the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter, becomes operational.