Foreign buyer picks up Australian Classic Hornets

Defence Minister Marise Payne has confirmed 18 Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornets will be sold to Canada.

As confirmed by Defence Connect last week, the deal comes after an expression of interest from the Canadian government received in September

The price of the sale is currently unknown, with Defence stating the sale of the aircraft and associated spares remains subject to final negotiations and country of origin export approvals.

Defence plans to withdraw its fleet of F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets from service by 2022, which will be progressively replaced by the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter, Australia's new, fifth-generation air combat capability.

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.

Transfer of the first two aircraft is expected to occur from the first half of 2019, in line with the 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.

Canada's decision to purchase the aircraft comes after its relations with Boeing deteriorated throughout the year.

Last year, Canada announced plans to buy 18 Super Hornets as an interim solution for replacing a subset of the CF-18 Hornet fleet due for retirement within five years.

However, talks with Boeing over the planned acquisition were suspended by Canada after Boeing launched a trade challenge against Canadian plane-maker Bombardier in April, accusing the company of dumping its jet into the US market and claiming the company received unfair subsidies from the Canadian government.

 

Foreign buyer picks up Australian Classic Hornets
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