New Canadian air force surveillance plane could be built by Mississauga company

Published May 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

Rendering of a new jet Bombardier wants to build for Canada's air force. (Image: Bombardier)

A global builder of business aircraft that will open a massive jet-manufacturing plant late this summer at Pearson Airport in Mississauga has just signed on to offer Canada’s air force a new surveillance plane.

The deal between Quebec-based Bombardier and General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada, of Ottawa, would see the former provide new aircraft to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s (RCAF) current fleet of CP-140 Auroras.

The companies are joining forces for the Canadian Multi-Mission Aircraft Project and the initiative will offer the RCAF a fleet of Bombardier Global 6500 aircraft outfitted with sensors developed by the Ottawa firm.

The bidding process has yet to run its course, so the Bombardier offer might not come to fruition.

Bombardier’s $500-million, state-of-the-art jet-manufacturing plant is on schedule to begin operations in Mississauga late this summer, the global aviation company’s president and CEO said earlier this spring. 

The 770,000-sq.-ft. Global Manufacturing Centre, the largest standalone structure to be built at Pearson in the last 20 years, according to airport officials, will replace Bombardier’s current final assembly plant located in Downsview. 

That facility was built in the 1960s and today houses some 2,000 workers. All of those employees will be brought along to the new Pearson plant, which company officials said earlier will significantly reduce Montreal-based Bombardier’s industrial and environmental footprint in the area.  

A number of new workers will also be hired once the plant is up and running in Mississauga.

The new RCAF agreement would seem to be a challenge to Canadian Defence Minister and Oakville MP Anita Anand, who’s been asking that Ottawa instead purchase 16 new Boeing P-8 surveillance aircraft.

Bombardier officials have reportedly stated that Canada should consider Canadian-made and developed equipment.


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