Mission to eastern Europe costing $370Gs an hour

CF-18 Hornets. ROGER GAGNON/QMI AGENCY

CF-18 Hornets. ROGER GAGNON/QMI AGENCY

Jean-Nicolas Blanchet, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:45 PM ET

MONTREAL - Taxpayers are paying $250,000 an hour for deployment of CF-18 jets to eastern Europe amid the Ukraine crisis, QMI Agency has learned. National Defence documents show the hourly bill jumps to more than $370,000 for a frigate, helicopter and pair of cargo planes for an operation one former diplomat says is "playing with fire."

The cited costs are for operation of machinery and do not include living expenses for crews and 220 troops deployed in neighbouring Romania, nor direct economic support to Ukraine.

Each CF-18 consumes more than 4,400 litres of fuel per hour, and requires maintenance and engineering costing more than $17,000 per hour.

The CF-18s, which date back to the 1980s, are unarmed and provide what's being called a "visible presence" near Ukraine.

Canada has also reassigned its frigate HMCS Regina, which had been conducting anti-terror operations. The ship, with more than 200 crew, costs about $290,000 for each day at sea.


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