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Purpose of the CC-150 Polaris

  • Thread starter Thread starter belka
  • Start date Start date


I was just wondering what is the main purpose of the Airbus A310 (CC-150) in the Canadian Forces? I've seen several news casts that shows it carring troops to Haiti and sometimes the Prime Minister. I know the CF has 4 or 5, not sure (CF main site down), that seems quite a lot for a comparatively small Military.

Thanks. :cdn:
Well from memory (please and AF or other people correct me if i'm totally wrong) one of them has been converted to VIP shuttles (I've heard that its called Ottawa One or somethign like that) thats the one you see on the news whenever Paul Martin flies anywhere.
THe others ones are used mainly for transport purposes both troops and cargo.  SOme of them are also being upgraded to provide Strategic Mid Air refuling. 

I think it's 6 that we have, regardless, 6 Polaris's really isn't a lot considering each carries about 180 pers, how do you move an entire battle group of 1000-2000 troops? 10 trips? It's a strategic airliner, they replaced the Boeing 707's in the early 90's. We're still seriously lacking in the strategic lift department. Hercs are tactical airlift and are not capable of doing strategic airlift.  We have no way of moving equip overseas and since that seems to be the thing to do these days (peacekeeping), I think if anything we could use about a dozen more strategic lifters, if anything it would allow us to rapidly react to situations like Afghanistan without having to thumb a ride from the Americans.

In addition, if you need 5 jets, you should probably have 10 so that you don't over rotate the airframes, just look at the Harvards, Bombardier bought 26, 2 are hangar queens and 24 are on the line, those 24 Harvards replaced 80 or so Tutors.  We've had them for about 4 years and already there's over 40,000hrs on the fleet. These things are supposed to last 20 yrs. I've flown Harvards that are already bent, it's a training aircraft and that stuff happens.

There are 2 CC150s I believe that are being converted to strategic air-to-air refuelers. I'm not sure how easily they can be converted back to strategic airlift so that further reduces the number we have avail.

I guess the upcoming Airbus A380 can be a good candidate for stratigic airlifting. ;D
It is a nice aircraft, but not a very military one, it needs a ramp to be effective.
In the perfect world the CF (if they were to buy the A380) would have 20(for the reasons Inch mentioned above).
10 for troop hauling and 10 for hauling "heavy" equipment. But, this isn't a perfect world,(from the time the A380 would be ordered to the time they would be delivered, it would probabily already be obsolete) and if it was a perfect world, we wouldn't need them any way.
canada currently has 5 cc150s.  001 is the one that is vip outfitted.  it is hardly air force one, it simply contains a bedroom, shower and computer work stations.  the cc150s were originally bought by wardair, when wardair went under, the mulrooney govt bought the cc150s to replaced the ageing 707s.  the air force never really wanted another airliner, but did want a strat airlifter and an air to air re-fueller, and the airbuses were the only airframes they were getting so they got used to them.  for about 5 years they were really a waste of space as they could not carry palletized cargo and were limited to the hold below for cargo.  it would have been far cheaper for the air force to charter civvy aircraft to do those tasks. then in 1998 the govt paid for four of them to converted to combi standard and have cargo doors and strengthening installed.  001, which would have been to expensive to convert to combi, was up for sale for a while after chretien took office as he had a disdain for the "flying taj mahal".  however, none of the offers came in at an acceptable amount so 001 was kept on strength to transport the govgen, queen, and personnel as chretien would never fly in it, instead choosing to purchase 2 brand new challengers at a  price of $100 million to use as his personal aircraft.  the money was never there for them to be converted to air to air re-fuellers until recently over 10 years from receiving them.  the first one should be returning to canada soon allowing for the second one to be freed up to undergo its conversion to the a310 mrtt standard.  once that this and the cf18 update is complete, the cf18s will once again be fully deployable to overseas commitments as the cc130 tankers just weren't able to operate as anything but tac re-fuelers.  of course the military still needs true strat airlift capability as the cc150s cannot carry, basically, anything the army wants to take and the reliance of the usaf airlift fleet or drunk ukrainians is still pretty much the only way to get things there quick.  as for the buying 20 a380s that would be about 14 too many, nevermind the fact that it was designed as a civvy airliner and not as a airlifter, such as the c17, which is the only real option.
I agree with you on the c-17 money is the issue.  4 to 6 i think would do but the cost for those would be over 4 billion dollars that is not counting flight Sims and spare parts. For that price you could buy an all new fleet of c130s.
the problem is that an all c130j fleet cannot haul anything more than they can now.   the military needs a strat airlifter that is able to carry the stryker and iinitialreports are that the c130, j or otherwise, might not be able to do it, leaving canada reliant upon either the us or the an124 charters.  the only reasonable solution for the military is a mixed buy of 4-6 c17s and 15-20 c130js, as well as the planned purchase of fixed wing sar airframes to replace the buffalos and the sar hercs.   either way i have some reservations about the c130j, especially after the gao in the us came down hard on the us purchase and the trouble the aussies and brits have been having with theirs.
I don't think the government will ever fly that strykers on planes, they will always use ships. I can see them getting the c27j spartan for the search and rescue and perhaps getting ten to fifthteen c130j since they will share the same engines.  Four to six c17's would be nice to but i think we would have to get a sweet deal to afford them.