The government of Canada has awarded a $436 million (USD) contract to The Boeing Company for the modernization of 80 Canadian Forces CF-18 strike fighters. This upgrade will ensure that CF-18s remain combat ready and interoperable with coalition forces well into the 21st century.
"This upgrade will significantly enhance the capability of the aircraft and, with a concurrent structural modification, will extend its life through 2015," said Tony Parasida, Boeing vice president for the F/A-18 program. "In addition, the planned upgrades ensure that Canadian Forces Hornets can carry Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles and the full complement of GPS-guided air-to-ground weapon systems."
Under the contract, the CF-18s will be equipped with improved communication and navigation capabilities including a new mission computer, an APG-73 radar, stores management set, a secure radio system and a Combined Interrogator/Transponder system.
Canadian firm Bombardier Aerospace will perform installations required as part of the modernization program. Under the terms of the agreement, Bombardier will complete work at its facilities in Mirabel, Quebec. A validation and verification phase involving one A single-seat model and one B two-seat model CF-18 will begin in July 2002. Modification work on the remaining 78 aircraft is scheduled to begin in January 2003.
The Hornet upgrade program is an example of the innovative products and services Boeing offers to military services around the world to enhance mission performance and drive lower total ownership costs. Boeing is involved in many complex modernization programs, including the T-38C Avionics Upgrade Program for the U.S. Air Force, which recently entered full-rate production. The company also provides efficient supply-chain management programs that maximize aircraft readiness levels.
Canada was the first international customer for the Hornet. The CF-18s operate out of Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake and Canadian Forces Base Bagotville in Canada.
The F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter is in service with the air forces of seven nations, in addition to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.