Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, today announced the Government has agreed to the sale of 18 Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18 A/B Classic Hornets to the Government of Canada.
The offer follows an expression of interest from the Canadian Government received in September. 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.