An in-depth look at Canada's changing air force

For the third time in a decade, Canada is trying to replace its McDonnell Douglas CF-188 Hornet fleet. In 2010, the previous government designated the Lockheed Martin F-35 as the replacement, with deliveries expected to start in 2016. But the deal erupted in political controversy over accusations that parliament had been misled about the true cost of the aircraft and that alternative fighter jets were never fairly compared.

The newly elected Justin Trudeau government in 2015 decided it would not purchase the F-35 and would look for another solution, but the F-35 was never excluded from the fighter competition. In the meantime, the CF-188 is ageing rapidly; its airframes have not received any upgrades in years, because its replacement was expected to have entered service by now. The government considered purchasing 18 Super Hornets as an interim solution, but settled instead on procuring 25 'legacy' Hornets declared surplus by the Royal Australian Air Force.

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