First Phase of CF-18 Modernization Project Completed
31 Aug 2006
On 31st of August, Boeing delivered the 80th modernized CF-18 aircraft to the Canadian Department of National Defence during a ceremony at L-3 Communications MAS in Mirabel, Quebec. The delivery marks the completion of Phase I of the CF-18 Modernization Project.
Canada awarded Boeing the first phase of the US6 million project in April 2001, followed by Phase II, valued at US5 million, in February 2005. Boeing selected L-3 Communications MAS as its prime sub-contractor to install several new systems throughout both phases.
Phase I upgrades include improved communications and navigation capabilities, including a new mission system, a NATO-compatible radar system, a stores management system for weapon system and associated equipment controls, and a combined interrogator/transponder system that ensures allies can easily recognize Canadian CF-18 aircraft. The first completed “Phase I” CF-18 was delivered back to Air Command in May 2003.
The second phase, due for completion in 2009, adds a data link system, a helmet mounted sight system, color cockpit displays, and a chaff and flare dispensing electronic warfare system.
Canada bought 138 CF-18s for its Air Force between 1982 and 1988. It lost 17 in crashes, 20 were scrapped, and three were sold off. Of the remainder 80 were earmarked for modernization; 62 single-seaters and 18 two-seat trainers. The upgrade will enable the fleet to soldier on until 2017. It has not yet been decided how the Hornets will be replaced.