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Canada receives last upgraded CF-18 Hornet fighter

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The CF-18 Hornet fighter of the Canadian Forces. A CF Photo

ST. LOUIS (BNS): The Canadian Defence Department has received the last of its 79 upgraded CF-18 Hornet aircraft from US's Boeing Company.

The aircraft was delivered to the Canadian Department of National Defence at Canadian city Mirabel on Thursday, thereby bringing the nine-year, two-phased CF-18 Modernization Project to end, Boeing said.

The first phase upgradation programme, valued at US $436 million and completed in 2006, equipped the Hornets with improved avionics, radar systems, radio and new weapons capabilities.

In the second phase, the multi-role fighters have been fitted with a data link system that will enable Canadian Forces to operate them along with US and allied nations' aircraft. The Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System will enhance the fighters' weapons targeting capability.

Besides, there are new color cockpit displays to increase situational awareness and an upgraded, chaff-and-flare dispensing electronic warfare system to improve the aircraft's survivability.

The second phase programme has been valued at $150 million, Boeing said.

The CF-18 Hornet fighters were inducted in the Canadian Forces in 1983. The fighters have been designed in line with the US' F/A-18 Hornet fighters.

Canada uses two variants of the fighters CF-188A single-seat fighter and ground attack aircraft and CF-188B two-seat training version.

The combat aircraft can fly at a maximum speed of 1.8 Mach at a height of 50,000 feet. It has nine weapon stations which can carry up to 6,215 kg of missiles, rockets, bombs, fuel tanks and pods.

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