As part of its Defence Renewal effort, National Defence has identified $1.5 million in annual savings by reducing the Royal Canadian Air Force’s fleet of CC-144 Challenger aircraft from six to four.

The government announced Friday that the reduction would take effect immediately and the savings would be “redirected towards higher operational needs such as search and rescue.”

Under Defence Renewal, the government is aiming to generate between $750 million and $1.2 billion in annual savings by 2017-2018, all to be reinvested in higher priorities.

In a release, the government noted that the Canadian Armed Forces and Canadian Coast Guard respond to over 9,400 incidents, more than a thousand of which involve tasking military aircraft. However, it did not say whether the $1.5 million would be directed toward the long-delayed fixed-wing search and rescue aircraft program.