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The Ministry of National Defense purchases 11 drones

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The drones will be stationed on the grounds of 14 Wing Greenwood , in Nova Scotia, and on that of 19 Wing Comox, in British Columbia. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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The Department of National Defense announced on Tuesday an investment of $2.49 billion to acquire remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS). The Royal Canadian Air Force will thus be equipped with 11 drones.

The announcement was made simultaneously at the Canadian Forces Base (CFB) of Comox and that of Greenwood, in Nova Scotia, by Marie-France Lalonde, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defense.

The drones will be approximately the size of a fighter plane, as specified in a press release from the ministry. The first delivery is expected in 2028, and full operational capacity is expected by 2033.

The $2.49 billion investment will enable including funding six ground control stations, a new ground control center and two new aircraft hangars.

Drones will allow the Canadian Armed Forces to monitor Canada's vast territory and long coastline. They will support civil aid operations such as responses to forest fires and floods, says the Ministry of National Defense.

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The RPAS will be stationed at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, and 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia. The ground control center, which will house the aircraft cockpits, will be located in Ottawa.

The acquisition of these remotely piloted aircraft systems will be done through a direct commercial sales contract with General Atomics Aeronautical Systems. The Department estimates that this contract will create nearly 700 jobs per year for Canadian industry.

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