Losses and Aviation Safety

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18B Hornet on the road

The CF-18B Hornet was damaged in a hard landing during a 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron training exercise at MCAS Miramar in early December 2018.

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) CF-18B Hornet, which was damaged during an exercise at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar (CA), is making its way to the L3 MAS facility in Mirabel (Que.) for repairs.

The aircraft is being moved by road on a flatbed truck. It will enter Canada in Sarnia (Ont.), and from there it will travel further to Mirabel.

The dual-seat Hornet was damaged in a hard landing during a 410 Tactical Fighter Squadron (‘Cougar’) training exercise in early December 2018. Thankfully, there were no injuries to the pilots, but the aircraft was unable to fly home, and is thus being moved by road. The Hornet involved is CF-18B 188924 operated by 410sq.

The CF-188 Hornet, or CF-18 as it is popularly known, is a multipurpose, high-performance twin-engine fighter that can handle both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

The CF-188 Hornet is a frontline multi-role fighter used for air defense, air superiority, ground attack, tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation.

Canada is procuring 18 F/A-18 fighter aircraft and parts from the Government of Australia to rapidly increase availability of the CF-18 fleet in order to ensure the RCAF can meet all obligations simultaneously.

These aircraft are the same type as Canada’s current CF-18 fleet and can be integrated quickly into RCAF fleet. Modifications and technical work will begin immediately so they can be brought to a similar configuration to Canada’s CF-18 aircraft.

Modifications and maintenance of the current CF-18 fleet will continue to be required until the RCAF transitions to a future fighter.

Noteworthy Canada’s government cancelled a planned $2 billion purchase of 18 F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters because of a decision by Boeing to launch a trade challenge against Canadian planemaker Bombardier, which the U.S. giant accuses of dumping airliners on the domestic American market.

Nevertheless 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.

One potential contender is Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter, which Trudeau initially said he would not buy because it was too expensive. The government has since softened its line, saying the plane would be allowed to compete.

Photo Credit: RCAF

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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