Minister for Defence Marise Payne announced yesterday that the Australian government has agreed to the sale of 18 Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 A/B ‘Classic’ Hornets to the government of Canada.
CAPTION: A Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A over Victoria. Photo by Brian Hartigan.
An offer was made to the Canadian government received in September.
The sale of the aircraft and associated spares remains subject to final negotiations and country-of-origin export approval by the United States government.
Defence plans to withdraw its fleet of F/A-18A/B Hornets from service by 2022, which will be progressively replaced by the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
Minister Payne spoke with her Canadian counterpart, Minister for National Defence Harjit Sajjan, to welcome the sale.
“Australia greatly values our longstanding and broad bilateral defence relationship with Canada, and this decision is another example of our close and strong partnership,” Minister Payne said.
“The aircraft will supplement Canada’s existing fleet as it develops and implements its plan to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force fighter-jet fleet.”
Minister Payne did not reveal the value of the proposed deal.
Transfer of the first two aircraft is expected to occur in 2019, in line with Australia’s current plan to transition to the Joint Strike Fighter.
Australia’s first two Joint Strike Fighters are expected to arrive in Australia at the end of 2018.