Canada Could Be Flying Australia's Used F-18 Fighters This Summer (excerpt)
(Source: CBC News; posted Jan 04, 2019)
Three years after taking office, the Canadian government has finally signed a controversial deal to buy 25 used F-18 fighters from Australia, but seems to be dragging its feet on the promised competition to buy a new-generation fighter. (RCAF photo)
The Canadian government has completed a deal to purchase Australia's old F-18 fighter jets and the first of the 25 used jets should arrive this spring, the Department of National Defence confirms.
The Trudeau government announced back in 2017 that it would buy 18 used Australian F-18s as an interim measure to bolster the air force until the entire Canadian fleet of CF-18s is replaced, beginning in the mid-2020s.
The other seven Australian jets it bought will be used for testing and spare parts.
The Australians had to get permission from the U.S. to sell the planes because they were manufactured in the States, but officials with Defence said the deal between Canada and Australia was finalized in November. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the CBC News website.
Canada Finalizes Deal for Australian F-18s
(Source: Forecast International; issued Jan 07, 2019)
Canada has finalized a deal for 25 second-hand F/A-18A/B Hornets being bought from Australia. The first aircraft are expected to arrive in the spring, and begin operations with the Canadian forces this summer, according to Pat Finn, assistant deputy minister for materiel at the Department of National Defence.
A second group of aircraft will arrive later in the year. Overall, 18 of the used jets will make their way into operational service, while seven airframes will be used for testing or harvested for spare parts. Ottawa is also purchasing additional spares as part of the deal.
The aircraft are being purchased for CAD90 million, but Canada estimates it will cost around CAD500 million to own and operate the aircraft, including personnel, infrastructure, and aircraft upgrade costs.
The first modification when the aircraft arrive will be to install Canadian flight software, and to install ejections seats and lighting systems used by Canada’s existing CF-18 fleet. The goal is for the aircraft to become identical to the current fleet.
Canada is in the process of finding a replacement for its CF-18s, but the second-hand aircraft were purchased to fill a new capability gap identified by the government. Some have questioned the rationale behind buying and upgrading old aircraft while simultaneously pursuing a replacement fighter.