Canada formally declares interest in buying RAAF Hornets

An F/A-18A Hornet from No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit performs a handling display for the crowds at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000.Canada has formally expressed its interest in acquiring Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 Hornet multirole fighter aircraft as it explores options to supplement its CF-18 fleet.

According to a statement from Public Services and Procurement Canada dated October 9, Canada entered discussions with the Australian government in late August to assess the potential purchase of Hornet aircraft and associated parts that Australia plans to sell.

Canada submitted an expression of interest (EOI) on September 29 that formally registered its interest in the equipment.

“Canada expects to receive a response by the end of this year that will provide details regarding the availability and cost of the aircraft and associated parts that Canada is considering,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the possible sale to Canada of 10 F/A-18E and eight F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters has been approved by the US Department of State, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency stated on September 12.

That said, the Public Services and Procurement Canada statement declared that while the Canadian government is continuing to engage with the US government as it looks at “all options moving forward”, separate discussions with Boeing relating to an interim Super Hornet purchase “remain suspended”.

“Until an open and transparent competition can be completed to replace Canada’s legacy CF-18 fleet, Canada is exploring options to supplement the current CF-18 fleet and address an existing fighter capability gap,” the statement said.