First interim Hornet fighter jets arrive in Cold Lake, Canada

Canada receives first Australian Hornet
First interim Hornet fighter jets arrive in Cold Lake, Canada.

On February 17, 2019, the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) received the first two interim F/A-18A Hornet combat aircraft. The jets were flown to Cold Lake, Alberta, from Nellis, Nevada, where they were participating in Exercise Red Flag.

Canada is procuring 18 fighter planes and parts from the Australian government to rapidly increase the availability of the CF-18 fleet in order to ensure that the RCAF can fulfill all obligations simultaneously. They will be employed at 3 Wing Bagotville and 4 Wing Cold Lake.

These aircraft are of the same type as Canada's current CF-18 fleet so they can be quickly integrated into the fleet. The changes and technical work will begin immediately so that they can be taken to a configuration similar to Canada's CF-18 aircraft. The work will continue to be carried out by Canadian companies.

Deliveries will proceed at regular intervals over the next three years and the aircraft will be integrated into the CF-18 fleet as the changes are completed. The final aircraft should arrive by the end of 2021.

At the same time, Canada continues to make progress toward replacing its fighter fleet. The formal request for proposals for the future fighter fleet is expected to be released in spring 2019, with a contract award in 2021-22 and deliveries to begin in 2025.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: RCAF

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