CF-188 Hornet
cf.jpegAircraft Description

The CF-188 is a multipurpose, high-performance twin-engine fighter that can handle both air-to-air (air defence, air superiority, combat air patrol) and air-to-ground (close air support, battlefield air interdiction) combat. Its on-board computer systems can quickly be re-programmed to the mission at hand.

(Note: The CF-188 is officially designated the “CF188” in Canadian use, although mainly in official or technical documentation.)

Adapted from the American F/A-18, the Canadian version of the jet features:
a sidewards-aimed searchlight beneath the fuselage for nighttime visual identifications
survival equipment adapted to the Canadian environment
various cockpit layout modifications
a paint scheme incorporating a “spoof” canopy on the underside of the front fuselage, intended to confuse opponents during aerial combat manoeuvres

Length 17.07 m
Wingspan 12.31 m
Height 4.66 m
Weight 10 455 kg
Power 2 General Electric F404 low bypass turbofan engines
Thrust Standard: 4850 kg (10 700 lbs.)
Afterburner: 7290 kg (16 000 lbs.)
Max. Speed Mach 1.8
Service Ceiling 15 000 m
Range 3700 km
Weapons Air to Air: AIM 9M IR guided missile, AIM 7 radar guided missile, AIM 120 radar guided missile, 20 mm canon
Air To Ground: Mk 82, Mk 83, Mk 84 , GBU 10, 12, 16 and 24 laser guided bombs, GBU 31 and 38 GPS guided bombs and the 20 mm cannon
Crew 1 pilot (CF-188A), 2 pilots (CF-188B)
Year(s) procured 1982 to 1988
Quantity in CF 77 modernized aircraft

3 Wing Bagotville, QC
4 Wing Cold Lake, ABimagecf.jpeg
In the 1970s, the Air Force decided that a single multi-role fighter type would replace its CF-101 Voodoos , CF-104 Starfighters and CF-116 Freedom Fighters. The resulting New Fighter Aircraft competition culminated in the selection of the McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. Canada became the first export customer for the type in a contract worth $2.34 (Cdn) billion. A number of Canadian-unique modifications were incorporated into the aircraft design. These included changes for Canadian unique weapons, a 600,000 candle power searchlight in the starboard nose for night intercepts, a modified survival kit and a land based ILS system replacing the USN automatic carrier landing system. Deployed to Canadian air defence (NORAD) and NATO squadrons, the CF-18 Hornet has lived up to all expectations. The multi-role capability of the Hornet has been repeatedly proven in CF use and the aircraft have been operationally employed in the Gulf War and more recently, in the NATO campaign over Kosovo. In the Gulf War, the aircraft were employed in both CAP and conventional strikes. Flying from Aviano, Italy, in the skies over Kosovo and Serbia, the aircraft was primarily employed in the attack role dropping both conventional and precision guided munitions.The need to upgrade the CF-18 was demonstrated during the Gulf War I deployment and during the 1998 Kosovo conflict as advances in technology had rendered some of the avionics on board the CF-18 obsolete and incompatible with NATO allies. In 2000, CF-18 upgrades became possible when the government increased the defence budget.
In 2001 the Incremental Modernization Project (IMP) was initiated. The project was broken into two phases over a period of eight years and was designed to improve air-to-air and air-to-ground combat capabilities, upgrade sensors and the defensive suite, and replace the datalinks and communications systems on board the CF-18 from the old F/A-18A and F/A-18B standard to the current F/A-18C and D standard. Boeing and L-3 Communications, was issued a contract for the modernization project starting in 2002. A total of 80 CF-18s, consisting of 62 single-seat and 18 dual-seat models were selected from the fleet for the upgrade program. The project along with the IMP II will extend the life of the CF-18 until around 2017 to 2020 when they are to be replaced by the F-35 Lightning II JSF.
aircraft specifications
CDN Reg: CF-18
US/NATO Reg.: F/A-18A
Manufacturer: McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Corporation
Crew / Passengers: 1 pilot (CF-18A) or 2 pilots (CF-18B)
Power Plant(s): 2 x General Electric F404-GE-400 low-bypass turbofans @ 16,000 lb (7,258 kg) thrust
Performance: Max Speed: Mach 1.8 Service Ceiling: 49,000 ft (15,000 m) Unrefuelled [[range|Range]]]: 2,300 mi (3,704 km) *(retractable air-to-air refueling probe fitted)
Weights: Empty: 23,400 lb (10,614 kg) Gross: 37,000 lb (16,783 kg) Maximum Take-off: 49,355 lb (22,387 kg)
Dimensions: Unfolded Span: 40 ft 5 in (12.32 m) (with missiles) Folded Span: 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m) Length: 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m) Height: 15 ft 3 in (4.66 m) Wing Area: 400 sq ft (37.16 sq m)
Armament: Internally mounted M61A1 20mm cannon & provisions for AIM9 Sidewinder and AIM7 Sparrow air-to-air missiles, Maverick air-to-ground missiles, conventional bombs and precision-guided bombs, unguided CRV7 rockets, fuel tanks etc

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Two CF-18 fighter squadrons are assigned the air defence role in North America. They maintain limited air-to-surface capability to provide support to maritime operations, as well as support to land operations in defence of Canada. They are also available for contingency operations anywhere in the world.

CFB Cold Lake - Cold lake, Alberta, Canada
410 Cougar Tactical Fighter (Operational Training) Squadron
409 Nighthawk Tactical Fighter Squadron*
CFB Bagotville - Bagotville, Quebec, Canada
425 Alouétte Tactical Fighter Squadron**

*Detachment at CFB Comox, British Columbia, Canada
** Detachment at CFB Goosebay, Labrador, Canada
Note: Current operational aircraft strength is 60 aircraft with the additional 60 aircraft undergoing upgrading and rotation.
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