MRO Magazine

Kelowna company to maintain spy planes

March 19, 2024 | By Matt Jones

Kelowna-based KF Aerospace have won the maintenance contract for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF)’s new surveillance planes. The federal government announced plans in late November to replace the Lockheed CP-140 with the Boeing P8-A Poseidon. The cost for the planes runs just shy of $6 billion, part of an over $10 billion deal being negotiated with Boeing.

It is said that the deal will create an estimated 3,000 new jobs, though with many of the details not yet finalized, it is unclear where those jobs would be located or what specific maintenance services will be provided.

“The jobs we will be adding will be highly skilled labour jobs,” says KF Aerospace spokesperson Matt Stone. “Mostly aircraft maintenance engineers that are the backbone of our workforce. They are high quality jobs.”

The P8-A will be used for “anti-submarine and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance,” according to the Department of National Defense. The first plane is due to be delivered in 2026, at which point KF Aerospace’s work will begin. KF Aerospace have decades of experience working on civilian Boeing models, though never before for military applications.


“KF Aerospace’s growing relationship with the Boeing Company has led to more high-quality jobs at our company and increased economic benefits around our operations in British Columbia and Ontario,” said company CEO Tracy Medve in a media release. “This partnership empowers us to increase the skills of our workforce while continuing to establish our company as a leading Canadian aerospace firm and extend our global reach.”

With this agreement, Canada becomes the final member of the Five Eyes Intelligence alliance to adopt the Boeing P8-A, following the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. Defense Minister Bill Blair noted in a news conference that the P8-A is ‘not only the right choice, but frankly, the only choice.’


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