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Kelowna aerospace firm lands $11.2B contract to revamp RCAF program

KF Aerospace and CAE to revolutionize aircrew training for the Royal Canadian Air Force with the investment
KF Aerospace in Kelowna delivers pilot training to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Photo: KF Aerospace

Kelowna's KF Aerospace and a joint-venture partner have secured an $11.2-billion contract to revamp an air force training program.

KF Aerospace and Montreal-based technology company CAE Inc. announced Wednesday that their SkyAlyne Canada Limited Partnership was awarded an $11.2-billion, 25-year contract from Ottawa for the Future Aircrew Training (FAcT) program.

The program aims to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with modern aircrew training, including classroom instruction, simulator and flight training, and numerous on-site support activities, according to a statement from the federal government.

"Today's announcement regarding the Future Aircrew Training program is a significant achievement in the ongoing modernization efforts of Canada's defence forces,” Marc Parent, CAE's president and CEO, said in a statement.

“FAcT is a transformational win for SkyAlyne and CAE, laying the groundwork for training technologies and processes enabling mission readiness.”

The investment is part of the largest recapitalization of the RCAF since the Second World War, according to the federal government.

Canada will acquire more than 70 training aircraft split into five fleets through this contract.

The FAcT program has the potential to create or maintain 3,400 jobs and contribute $405 million annually to Canada’s gross domestic product over 25 years. Training under this new contract is expected to begin in spring 2029.

KF Aerospace and CAE currently deliver all phases of pilot training to the RCAF through programs including the Contracted Flying Training and Support (CFTS) program managed by KF Aerospace.

Last July, SkyAlyne was selected as the preferred bidder for FAcT “after a rigorous process,” according to a statement from CAE.

“We must modernize our training systems as we are modernizing our frontline equipment and weapons systems,” said Lt.-Gen. Eric Kenny, commander of RCAF, in a statement.

“The Future Aircrew Training program will do that by incorporating the latest training concepts and technologies and adapting to emerging trends to ensure Royal Canadian Air Force personnel can operate and win in highly contested and increasingly complex theatres of operation.”

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