Feds to again underspend on new military kit, threatening NATO target

Ottawa will invest billions of dollars less in new military equipment than promised this year, raising concerns about Canada's military readiness and the prospect it will fall short on another NATO spending target.

The Trudeau government in 2017 released a defence policy that included major spending increases on new aircraft, ships, armoured vehicles and other military equipment each year for the next two decades.

The investments are considered vital to replacing the Canadian Forces' aging fighter jets, ships and other equipment with state-of-the-art kit.

Yet while it's on track to invest more in new equipment for the second year in a row, budget documents show the Defence Department will still fall more than two billion dollars short on the government's plan to spend 6.5 billion.

The government spent 2.3 billion dollars less than planned last year, largely because of delays in projects such as the government's huge plan to buy new warships, but also because some things ended up costing less than expected.