A partnership between two of Canada’s largest aerospace companies has been awarded an $8.1 billion (USD) contract to provide flight training aircraft and infrastructure to the Royal Canadian Air Force for 25 years starting in 2029. SkyAlyne, which is simulator training company CAE and MRO KF Aerospace, will buy 71 new aircraft to be used by RCAF instructors to train new pilots for almost all of its frontline platforms. The Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) program will also support the training of air combat systems officers and airborne electronic sensor operators. Both companies are involved in the current training program.

SkyAlyne will buy 23 Grob G 120TP turboprop singles for basic flight training and seven Beechcraft King Air 260s for multi-IFR training. and helicopter pilots will get 19 Airbus H135s. There will also be three De Havilland Dash-8 Q400s with mission training systems aboard. Future F-35 fighter pilots will take advanced training on 19 Pilatus PC-21s but will be sent to Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas for the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot training program and to the International Flying Training School at Decimomannu, Italy for actual jet time. The company will buy its own advanced jet trainers by 2028.

Most of the fixed wing training will happen at Canadian Forces Base Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan but the Dash-8s will be base at CFB Winnipeg. All helicopter training will occur at Southport, Manitoba. The RCAF is undergoing a fleet-wide renewal with tens of billions in new equipment including 85 F-35s, 16 P-8s and nine A330 tanker/transports. It’s also standing up a squadron of 11 MQ-9B Reaper drones.

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