Canada investing $211.6 million in Calgary’s Arcfield Canada to sustain the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 fleet

News release

March 7, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta – Department of National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces

Today, George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview, visited Arcfield Canada in Calgary, Alberta to announce an important investment that will support Canada’s fleet of CF-18 fighter jets, and ensure that it is operationally ready and able to deliver for Canada.

On behalf of the Minister of National Defence Bill Blair and the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Jean-Yves Duclos, Mr. Chahal announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract valued at up to $211.6M (taxes included) to Arcfield Canada. Through this contract, Arcfield Canada will continue to help sustain Canada’s fleet of CF-18 fighters. In particular, Arcfield Canada will continue to support the CF-18 fleet’s Avionics weapons systems, supply parts as needed, and provide end-to-end supply chain services.

The contract will ensure that avionics spare parts will be made available to CF-18 technicians. Arcfield Canada will provide end-to-end supply chain services related to these parts including planning, purchasing, warehouse management and repair of spare parts. Arcfield Canada will also ensure, through engineering and technical services, that repairs can be executed effectively in the field, and that the users and maintainers of the CF-18 will have access to the fully maintained technical publications that they require to execute their mission.

This project also invests in Canada’s defence industry - supporting skilled jobs in Calgary, and creating economic growth for the Alberta and Canadian economy. This contract will create or sustain 370 high skilled jobs annually for Canadian industry and value chain partners, and input $41 million annually into Canada's gross domestic product over a ten-year period. Through this contract, the Government of Canada is investing in Canadian excellence and knowhow, and supporting a trusted partner at Arcfield Canada, which will continue to provide optimized support to Canada’s fighter fleet.

This investment will help to ensure that Canada’s fighter fleet remains interoperable with that of our allies, meets civil/military aviation regulations, and effectively meets operational commitments primarily with North American Air Defence Command and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization until the permanent replacement fighter fleet of F-35 jets is expected to be fully operational in 2032.

The contract is for an initial five-year period, and five subsequent one-year options. The in-service support contract for CF-18 Avionics will come into effect on April 1, 2024 and if all options are exercised it will last until 31 March 2034.

As part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to create more procurement opportunities for Indigenous businesses, Indigenous Procurement Considerations (IPC) were included in this contract. The IPC require the supplier to subcontract a portion of the work to businesses managed or led by Indigenous Peoples. This is part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to succeed and grow by seeking to ensure that at least 5% of federal contracts go to businesses managed and led by Indigenous Peoples.



“This major investment in Calgary’s Arcfield Canada will support Canada’s world-class defence and aviation industry, sustain good jobs for Albertans and Canadians, and ultimately, ensure that our Royal Canadian Air Force’s fighter fleet can meet its operational commitments. Together with our industry partners, we are ensuring that Canadian Armed Forces members have the tools that they need to do their jobs, and keep our country safe.”

The Honourable Bill Blair, Minister of National Defence

“This contract with Arcfield Canada is a testament to our commitment to supporting the Canadian Armed Forces and to increasing the participation of Indigenous business in federal procurement. This will not only maintain the CAF’s fleet of CF-188 aircraft until 2032 and sustain good jobs, but it will also create more opportunities for Indigenous businesses to succeed and grow.”

The Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Public Services and Procurement

 “Through this contract with Arcfield Canada, our government is providing the Canadian Armed Forces with the equipment it needs to continue to effectively execute their missions, while ensuring economic benefits for Canadians. This procurement will create high-value jobs across Canada, safeguard domestic sustainment of our fighter fleet, and support our world-class defence and aerospace industries.”

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“Today’s announcement is excellent news for the Royal Canadian Air Force, and for our world-class defence industry here in Alberta. By investing in a trusted Calgary company, our government is supporting good, skilled jobs for Albertans, and ensuring that the women and men of the Royal Canadian Air Force will have the tools that they need to do their jobs.”

George Chahal, Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview

“An integral component of Canada’s defence, the CF-18 has provided outstanding service at home and abroad for decades relying upon dedicated RCAF maintenance technicians and sustainment provided by our essential industry partners. This foundational sustainment will now continue with the award of this contract to a trusted partner, Arcfield Canada.”

Lieutenant-General E.J. Kenny, Commander RCAF

Quick facts

  • The CF-188 Hornet, commonly called the CF-18, is a multi-role fighter aircraft used for air defence, air superiority, ground attack, tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation. The current size of the Royal Canadian Air Force’s operational CF-18 fleet is 89.

  • The CF-18 is a fast, light and manoeuvrable aircraft. Because of its power, speed and target-tracking capabilities, it has had great success in many military operations in Canada and around the world. 

  • Arcfield Canada has long been a trusted partner in CF-18 sustainment. On October 15, 2010, the Government of Canada awarded a $480.2 million contract Arcfield Canada for CF-18 sustainment. This was for a period of nine years. Approvals for two-year extensions were obtained, and the previous contract will expire on March 31, 2024.

  • This new contract with Arcfield was competitive and includes all the same services that were rendered in the previous contract.

  • This new competed contract will ensure service provision to the CF-188 Avionics systems at least until 2032 which corresponds to the end of the CF-18 fleet life expectancy. In January 2023, the Minister of National Defence announced that Canada is procuring 88 F-35 fighter jets to replace the CF-18 fleet.

  • Canada’s Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) Policy, including the Value Proposition, applies to the CF-188 Avionics in-service support contract. It requires that Arcfield provide business activities and makes investments in the Canadian economy equal to the value of its activities related to procurement process.

Associated links


Diana Ebadi
Press Secretary and Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of National Defence

Media Relations
Department of National Defence
Phone: 613-904-3333

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