Forces: May 15, 2002


The Canadian military will be out of the combat business by 2015 unless billions of dollars worth of new equipment is purchased, according to a new report by the Atlantic Council. The tanks, armored vehicles, aircraft, and ships will all hit their retirement dates by 2015 and the current level of funding is not enough to replace them. Even the ongoing refits of the CF-18 fighters, C-130 transports, and CP-140 Aurora patrol planes will only be enough to keep them going another ten years. The Sea King naval helicopters are 40 years old and should not even be flying today, but there is no money to replace them in the near term. Canada's only choices are to spend much more money, reconfigure their forces for peacekeeping and disaster relief only, or to reduce the size of the force by more than half (leaving only a symbolic combat capability). --Stephen V Cole


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