Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet
Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet

US Approves $862 Million Radar and Missile Upgrade for Canadian F/A-18A Hornets

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Canada of fifty (50) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical missiles and related equipment for an estimated cost of $862.3 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on June 15, 2020. This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the military capability of Canada, a NATO ally that is an important force for ensuring political stability and economic progress and a contributor to military, peacekeeping and humanitarian operations around the world. This sale will provide Canada a two-squadron bridge of enhanced F/A-18A aircraft to continue meeting NORAD and NATO commitments while it gradually introduces new advanced aircraft via the Future Fighter Capability Program between 2025 and 2035.

The Government of Canada has requested to buy
— fifty (50) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical missiles;
— fifty (50) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Captive Air Training Missiles (CATMs);
— ten (10) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Special Air Training Missiles (NATMs);
— ten (10) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II Tactical Guidance Units;
— ten (10) Sidewinder AIM-9X Block II CATM Guidance Units;
— thirty-eight (38) APG-79(V)4 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar units;
— thirty-eight (38) APG-79(V)4 AESA Radar A1 kits;
— twenty (20) Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW) C, AGM-154C;
— forty-six (46) F/A-18A Wide Band RADOMEs.

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Also included are additional technical and logistics support for the AESA radar; upgrades to the Advanced Distributed Combat Training System (ADCTS) to ensure flight trainers remain current with the new technologies; software development to integrate the systems listed into the F/A-18A airframe and install Automated Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS); thirty (30) Bomb Release Unit (BRU) – 42 Triple Ejector Racks (TER); thirty (30) Improved Tactical Air Launched Decoy (ITALD); one hundred four (104) Data Transfer Device/Data Transfer Units (DTD/DTU); twelve (12) Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); one hundred twelve (112) AN/ARC-210 RT-2036 (Gen 6) radios and F/A-18 integration equipment. The prime contractors will be Raytheon Corporation, El Segundo, CA; General Dynamics Mission Systems, Marion, VA; The Boeing Company, St. Louis, MO; and Collins Aerospace, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Canada was the first export customer for the Hornet, replacing the CF-104 Starfighter (air reconnaissance and strike), the McDonnell CF-101 Voodoo (air interception) and the CF-116 Freedom Fighter (ground attack). The Canadian Forces Air Command ordered 98 A models (Canadian designation CF-188A/CF-18A) and 40 B models (designation CF-188B/CF-18B). The original CF-18 as delivered was nearly identical to the F/A-18A and B models. Canada plans to upgrade 36 Hornet fighters out of its 76 CF-18s and 18 secondhand Australian F-18s is has purchased so they can remain in service until the mid-2030s, when a new fighter will replace them. Canada has already earmarked C$3 billion extend the service lives of the CF-18s and purchase 18 secondhand fighters from Australia.

Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet
The United States has approved a $862 million upgrade package for 36 Canadian F-18 Hornets, which will be selected from the country’s fleet of 76 CF-18s and the 18 second-hand Hornets it has purchased second-hand from Australia.
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