Australia delivers first 2 retired F/A-18 Hornet to Canada

An RAAF F/A-18A Hornet undergoing aerial refuelling during operations in Iraq. Photo c/o Flight Global.

Australia delivered the first two former Royal Australia Air Force (RAAF) Boeing F/A-18A Hornet fighter aircraft to Canada, and will be displayed in 17 February 2019 at the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) 4 Wing Cold Lake in Alberta.

The two fighters will still be needing preparation for RCAF service, and may only be ready for operation by summer.

This is as part of the $500 million deal for Australia to deliver 25 of their retired F/A-18A Hornet fighters as an interim measure to bolster the RCAF's air combat capability while Canada tries to secure a replacement for its ageing CF-18 Hornet fleet. 

The US government approved of the sale, which was said to have been secured in November 2018.

Eighteen of the fighters will be made operational, while seven units will be used as spares. Several more aircraft will be delivered by Australia within the year. The fighters will also be outfitted with equipment specifically used by the RCAF.

Currently, Canada is still undecided on its Hornet replacement, as several attempts to acquire a new fighter aircraft fell through, the latest being an attempt to buy the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet from Boeing. This failed due to a trade battle between Canadian and American government on aviation trade.

Meanwhile, the RAAF is in the process of replacing its F/A-18A/B Hornet fleet with the new Lockheed Martin F-35A Lighting II 5th generations stealth fighter. The RAAF received their first 2 F-35A for operational deployment in Australia in December 2018.

[1] Monteral Gazette

[2] CBC News
[3] Australian Aviation

Australia delivers first 2 retired F/A-18 Hornet to Canada Australia delivers first 2 retired F/A-18 Hornet to Canada Reviewed by Asia Pacific Defense Journal on February 17, 2019 Rating: 5

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