The first two Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A ‘Classic’ Hornets to be sold to the Royal Canadian Air Force have been delivered to Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake in Alberta, Canada.
CAPTION: RAAF F/A-18A Hornet A21-053 arrives at its new home in Canada. Defence Forces Canada photo.
The pair – tail numbers A21-053 and A21-055 – had just completed participating in Exercise Red Flag 19-1 in Nevada, USA.
They landed in Cold Lake on Saturday and were formally accepted at an indoor ceremony on Sunday.
Under a deal between the Australian and Canadian governments, the two Hornets are the first of up to 25 aircraft, along with spares and support equipment, that will be sold to Canada for $90million.
A Canadian government press release says 18 of the aircraft will join their fleet – the rest expected to be used for testing and for spare parts.
Minister for Defence Christopher Pyne highlighted the mutual benefits of this sale to both Australia and Canada.
“Australia and Canada have a longstanding defence relationship and this sale is an excellent example of our mutual commitment towards supporting our respective defence capabilities,” Minister Pyne said,
“These jets have served Australia very well and will now continue to make a positive contribution to the air combat capability of one of our closest allies.”
Minister for Defence Industry Steven Ciobo thanked members of Australia’s defence industry for their significant involvement in the planning and preparation of the transfer of these aircraft.
“Transfers of this complexity can only happen through a coordinated effort between Defence and our industry partners,” Minister Ciobo said.
“This deal is an example of the great strides the government is taking to create an Australian defence industry which is globally competitive, innovative and export focused.
“The government is working with industry to maximise opportunities for Australian companies both here and abroad to build a stronger defence industry.
“The stronger our defence industry, the more safe and secure the country is,” Mr Ciobo said.