• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

RUMINT of Canada wanting more C-17's

The Bread Guy

Staff member
Directing Staff
Reaction score
According to this online defence publication article, anyway ....
Australia has formally requested “up to four” more Boeing C-17A Globemaster III airlifters from the US government, a notification by the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) posted on 12 November shows.


With production of the C-17 due to end in 2015, Boeing has built about 10 ‘white tailed’ aircraft that are expected to be sold to new or existing customers of the aircraft. There is believed to be interest for additional aircraft from India, Canada and the UK, and possibly new customers in the Middle East.
At twitter:

Gareth Jennings ‏@GarethJennings3 [Aviation Desk Editor at IHS Jane's]

@BoeingDefense has just 4 unaccounted 'white-tail' C-17s left after Australian approval for 4 more. Get in quick!

Full US government news release on RAAF:

MarkOttawa said:
At twitter:

Full US government news release on RAAF:


It would be interesting to see where they park them.  It's already getting pretty cramped on the tarmac in RAAF Base Amberley and they want to move more stuff there as well.

Aside from fighters and the King Air utility transports, the RAAF consolidates all of their types in one location (J-Hercs in RAAF Base Richmond, C-17s and KC-30 Tankers in Amberley, P-3s in RAAF Base Edinburgh, etc.)
Eye In The Sky said:
Is this done for strategic reasons?  Logistical/maint efficiency?

I'd guess all three.  No requirement to fly across the country for sims and heavy maintenance.  The P-3s do have a rotating detachment up in Darwin for northern patrols, but their Southern Ocean SAR requirements mean that Adelaide is a good-enough spot to base them.  Even the RAN  helicopters are based 2 hours south of Sydney.  I guess they fly/get transported to Perth to meet the west coast ships when they sail out. 

Of course there are good side effects too - those bases are located close enough to cities (Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney) that partners/spouses don't have as many problems finding jobs.  In the case of P-3s, multiple squadrons and the school in one location means that unless being posted to a staff position in Canberra, many of them never leave Adelaide (for good or ill).

Of course, that plan wouldn't work seamlessly in Canada.  We have population centres strung out in a line across the country, while Australia's population is heavily concentrated on the SE coast down to the south (Brisbane, Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Adelaide) with random pockets in Perth and Darwin.  Also, historically their threat is from the north rather than both east and west.  That means that aside from some fighting units in the north, everything can be located in the SE and a bit in the west and defend the majority of the population.  Also note that aside from P-3s dropping SAR equipment, the RAAF doesn't have a SAR capability so that frees them from having to station units within a call-out time.
Major Defense Industry Daily article:

Heavy Lifting Down Under: Australia’s Growing C-17 Fleet

CTV is saying we are getting one more for 1.2 billion that sounds like the price for 3 to 4.  Could it be the lifecycle costs included? 
It's the new way media inflates the cost to sound like they're wasting money.
The upside is that these planes are already built ready to be sold off so delivery will be quick, be it 1 or 4 aircraft I'm hoping it's more then 1. We will have to wait for the official announcement I bet
There is not really a lot of information in the CTV report.

Defence Department to purchase Boeing C-17 Globemaster III
CTV News
11 Dec 2014

The Defence Department intends to purchase a Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, a large military transport plane that comes with a $1.7 billion price tag, CTV News has learned.


Sources told CTV News the Defence Department is buying the C-17 aircraft with unused money in its budget that must be spent by the end of the fiscal year, otherwise the funds would go into general revenue.

Canada currently has four C-17s which are used by the military to transport military equipment or emergency supplies.
RyanHealy29 said:
I sure hope somebody at CTV got a little mixed up on that price number.

They're quoting the full life-cycle costs including fuel, maintenance and salaries of the personnel who operate the aircraft. A good way to make the purchase seem more extravagant.
I'm a big fan of full life cycle costing ... IF it is done consistently and across all of government.

The Government of Canada and, especially, DND didn't (when I served) and probably still doesn't use and/or even understand "full life cycle costing."

It is possible to assign every single dollar in personnel, administrative, support, infrastructure and capital equipment costs to "projects," and then to collect all those life cycle costed projects into a single, coherent defence services programme. It would be a bit strange, at first, to see e.g. the CDS and the NDHQ pay clerks 'costed' as part of the Defence Management project but we would/could get used to it. But it will only work properly when all the rest of government is forced to use the same techniques.

Until we can explain our own costs to ourselves, something we could not do - not, at least, at the VCDS/DCDS/ADM(Mat) level - when I served we will never explain them to a skeptical and, generally, innumerate media.
E.R. Campbell,

It is he ultimate and probably on way to compare project/program costs however, where do you make it stop?  How much of the CDS' time is accounted towards a given project?

I am personally a big fan of comparing everything non-personnel related (material, spares, POL, infrastructure) and leave salaries, TD, toilet paper out of the equation.  What we need is a standard of what to include and for how long.  Once a figure is obtained, it needs to be annualized so people (the media in particular) can compare apples to apples (ie: how much does an effect cost on a yearly basis)

Wishing pay out of the equation does not get us the most mileage for our money.  Some solutions require more investment in materiel and facilities, other solutions need more investment in personnel.  If it takes twice as many pers and more expensive training to implement the least low cost materiel solution, that low cost material solution is likely the actual bigger consumer of department resources.
Personnel and PML should not change significantly for a given project.  For example, I doubt we would create extra positions if we were to buy those C-17. Nothing would change or positions from other organizations would be transferred but it would be a 0 sum game.  Only if positions have to be created (NOT transferred) should we count it.  Otherwise the real money cost is 0.
How do you compare the cost of capability options if you do not reduce to a common denominator?  Cost to cost comparison is apples to apples; cost to PY is apples to doorknobs.

It also tells the truth to the public.  Canadian voters seem to get sticker shock fairly quick when it comes to capital equipment, but that could be tempered if they also were shown the lifecycle cost of the manpower intensive alternative.

... And let's not forget that not all PYs are equal when it comes to dollars.  An organization skewed toward spec pay and/or higher ranks will cost more.

I understand your points, but we have no say in how many PY (at all ranks/levels) we have.

When 2 AEW was stood up, we had to go through the pain of finding lines to transfer to the Wing at 0 cost.  Same goes to the splitting of fighter squadrons.  We traded higher rank lines to get more lower rank lines. 

Since increasing our PY in lieu of getting equipment is not something that is feasible (especially not for capital projects), I still think it should be left out as there are far too many variables to include (what fraction of the CDS salary and expenses do we include?) and it would be difficult to come up with comparable figures.  It would also be far too complex for the general public to understand.