CANADA’S military has found a new road block in the delivery of a key travel system for the Canadian Forces.
Air Canada has said it will not be able to meet its November deadline for delivery of its Airborne Laser Combat System, or ALDS, for the CF-18 fighter jets.
The delay means it is now “about a month away” from delivering the system, Air Canada said in a statement Monday.ALDS was designed to be a long-range system capable of firing a wide variety of weapons including air-to-surface and air-ground missiles, guided munitions, and cruise missiles.
The CF-188 jets were upgraded to the ALDS system in January.
It was designed with long-term stability in mind.
The system was developed to allow the pilots of CF-181 aircraft to operate on high-altitude and at high altitudes in hostile airspace without fear of a collision.
Its range was also designed to allow aircraft to remain airborne for a long period of time without being shot down.ALES was initially expected to be delivered in 2018, but it has been delayed twice since then.
It is expected to arrive in 2019, and then 2020.
The new delay means Air Canada will now be delivering ALDS to the Canadian Air Force on a much more gradual schedule.
Air Transport Canada spokesman Scott Macdonald said in an email the delay is due to an “unprecedented” amount of work that Air Canada has to complete.
He said the CF is also planning to deliver ALDS on a “more limited scale” and will start shipping the system to its pilots at the end of this month.
The company said it is “disappointed” in Air Canada’s decision to delay the delivery.
It said it would like to provide the CF with a solution in order to ensure that Airborne lasers do not fall into the wrong hands, Macdonald wrote in an emailed statement.
The company said Air Canada is also offering to pay the CF $1.3 million for delays to its delivery schedule.
Airlines have been hit by delays and cancellations as they struggle to meet the U.S. government’s deadline to deliver the weapons to U.N. troops in Afghanistan.
Air France has been the most expensive to date, costing about $4 billion.
The French government is working on a $6 billion plan to upgrade its fleet of fighter jets, but Air France is still working to meet that deadline.
The United Kingdom, which has already completed a deal to supply the systems, is currently negotiating a contract for about $3 billion, according to the Royal United Services Institute, a London-based think tank.
Air Force Lt.
Col. Steve Leppert, who heads up the Airborne Light Weapon System program, told the House of Commons Defence Committee last month that the Air Force is working with the CF to “make sure that we get ALDS as quickly as possible.”
He also said Air France and the CF were “very close” on a deal that could deliver ALES in 2020.