Super Hornet Block III in flight 927008568



Serving as the U.S. Navy’s dominant force in the skies, the F/A-18 Super Hornet is purpose-built to provide the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) with the capabilities needed to meet its most challenging mission needs. The next-generation Super Hornet design integrates the latest displays, processing and data link technology to provide an open architecture mission system with advanced networking infrastructure that can continue to evolve at a pace that far exceeds current competitor upgrade plans.

With the most weapons at range and the most affordable life cycle costs in the competition, as well as Boeing’s commitment to providing guaranteed work for Canadian companies, the Super Hornet provides Canada with the complete solution: a low-risk, evolutionary aircraft that puts capability in the hands of the RCAF today.

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800+ Super Hornets delivered
More than 10 million flight hours
Tested and proven regular upgrades

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~$19K USD per flight hour
Low procurement cost
Lowest total life cycle costs

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Compatible with existing Classic Hornets infrastructure and current RCAF air refueling tankers system.
Three active production lines
Easiest transition from current fleet

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Advanced Cockpit System
Long-Range Infrared Search and Track
Advanced Networking
Conformal Fuel Tanks
Further Radar Cross Section Reductions

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Ideally suited for Northern operations
Latest generation radar and
electronic warfare technology
9,900 lbs. weapons load
1.6 Mach speed

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10,000 hr. life airframe
Reduced aircrew/maintenance training
Block III production out to at least the mid 2030’s


The next-generation Super Hornet, uniquely suited for challenging Northern operations, is able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including cruise missile defense, air superiority, maritime strike, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.

When multi-role and multi-mission dominance is required in a single platform, the Super Hornet is the only answer. Supported by a 2-engine design, the Super Hornet is ideal for the NORAD mission. Additionally, the aircraft is capable of refueling other Super Hornets and Classic Hornets, serving as a force multiplier for the RCAF.

Advanced processing, networking, survivability and range/payload provide an operational advantage against technologically advanced systems and adversaries provide the following benefits:

  • Enhanced network capability works in tandem with advanced cockpit display and onboard sensor fusion to help RCAF pilots process intel and detect long-range threats.
  • With 11 weapons stations, the Super Hornet gives pilots extraordinary payload flexibility by carrying 400+ configurations of air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance – more than any other tactical aircraft.
  • Advanced data link and threat detection allow Super Hornet to better receive, process and send key intel.
  • An Advanced Cockpit System and long-wave Infrared Search & Track help pilots detect and target threats at long-range for battlespace situational awareness.
  • Adaptability to stay ahead of threats and continually incorporate new capabilities to meet the demands of current and future missions.

In comparison, media reports have described the F-35A as experiencing certain operational difficulties in weather conditions such as lighting and thunderstorms, as reported by Defense News and Popular Mechanics, and in cold temperatures, as reported by Military Times.


The Super Hornet is designed to meet Canada's broad range of mission needs at an affordable price. The cost to procure and maintain the aircraft is lower than other platforms. With the lowest operational flight hour costs among all US tactical aircraft in production, combined with lower procurement costs, Super Hornet saves billions of dollars over the aircraft's 10,000+ hour lifetime. Compare this to the F-35’s Cost Per Flight Hour (CPFH) that is cited as $36,000 per hour in this Defense News article from March 2021. Furthermore, the selection of Super Hornet means Canada can leverage billions of dollars they've invested over decades in the Classic Hornets in-service support industry.


Driven by a newly modernized production line, Super Hornet offers Canada the most efficient and affordable means of transitioning operations from existing Classic Hornets to a new platform.

Selection of the Super Hornet will allow the RCAF to leverage existing the Classic Hornets’ physical and intellectual infrastructure, significantly reducing aircrew and maintenance training requirements and achieving compatibility with the existing RCAF ground infrastructure and air refueling tankers – all of which results in a low-risk transition to operation of Canada's newest fighter. The F-35 in comparison “continues to face operational testing delays,” as outlined in a 2021 General Accountability Office report.



Injects approximately CAD 61 billion into Canada’s economy
Results in 250,000 high-paying jobs across Canada
Represents a commitment to 100% Industrial and Technological Benefits obligation measured in Canadian Content Value

Boeing has been a partner to Canada for more than 100 years, and has been delivering on its commitments since the beginning.

For the Future Fighter Capability Project (FFCP), Boeing has committed to 100% Industrial and Technological Benefits (ITB) obligation measured in Canadian Content Value that will provide guaranteed work packages to Canadian companies of all sizes and specialties, in all locations, on programs in both Boeing’s defence and commercial businesses.

In fact, in a recent study conducted by Canadian research firm Doyletech Corporation, it was found that if selected, Boeing and its Hornet Industry Team partners – General Electric, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon – would deliver approximately 250,000 high-paying jobs and $61 billion to Canada’s economy over the life of the program. This is work that will be placed in Canada and stay in Canada. In contrast, an F-35 selection by Canada would likely generate only approximately 150,000 jobs and impact GDP by only about $17 billion over the life of the program, according to a Skies Mag article citing Lockheed Martin. A Boeing selection, therefore, will deliver 100,000 more jobs and three times the economic benefits than a Lockheed Martin selection.

Through its industrial engagement plan, Boeing will help enable long-term sustainable growth and opportunities for Canadian industry through innovation and technology, enhanced global competitiveness, continued supplier development, and expanded export opportunities. This long-term approach is more advantageous for Canadian industry as it provides more meaningful opportunities across the aerospace and defence industry versus what final assembly of the aircraft would be able to offer.

For the FFCP, Boeing has already partnered with trusted Canadian industry entities, such as CAE, L3Harris Technologies, GE Canada, Peraton, Magellan Aerospace and Raytheon Canada Limited, to provide direct, in-country sustainment and training products and services to support Super Hornet throughout its lifecycle.

The selection of the proven, highly capable, cost-effective Super Hornet, coupled with our robust industry plan which will bring real, guaranteed jobs to companies all across Canada is what will make us the partner of choice for the next 100 years.

Provincial-Level Impact

F/A-18 News Coverage and Announcements

View all News Releases

Date News Release
Aug 19 2021 Solace News Release: Boeing Awards Solace Power Significant New Contract to Develop Wireless Power Solution
Feb 8 2021 Magellan News Release: Magellan Aerospace and General Electric Aviation Canada Sign Memorandum of Understanding for F414 Engine Sustainment in Support of Boeing Super Hornet Bid for Canada Future Fighter Competition
Oct 27 2020 Boeing, Partners Commit to Boost Canadian Economy by $61 Billion
Oct 20 2020 Boeing, U.S. Navy to Demo Future Ramjet Missile Technology
Aug 17 2020 Boeing Inducts 20th U.S. Navy F/A-18 into Service Life Modification
July 31 2020 Boeing Submits Response to the Future Fighter Capability Project Request for Proposal
June 17 2020 Boeing Delivers First F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets to U.S. Navy for Flight Test
June 03 2020 Boeing Delivers First Super Hornet Blue Angel Test Jet
Apr 08 2020 Boeing’s Loyal Wingman Program Achieves ‘Weight on Wheels’ Milestone
Feb 06 2020 Boeing Delivers the First F/A-18 Service Life Modification Jet to U.S. Navy
Nov 1 2000 Aviation Week Magazine presents Quality Award to Super Hornet team
Date News Clips
Nov 15 2021 Boeing’s Offer to Canada Is the Best
Nov 12 2021 Boeing makes hard sell for Super Hornet as Canada’s future fighter
Nov 8 2021 Héroux-Devtek announces extension of Boeing 777 / 777X contract
Oct 24 2021 CBS story on MQ-25 refueling an F/A-18
Oct 22 2021 Navy’s Super Hornet Readiness recognized for program leadership excellence
Sept 27 2021 Boeing Delivers First Operational Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet to the U.S. Navy
Oct 15 2020 Boeing sees potential for its aircraft in many future roles
Sept 28 2020 The Right Choice
Sept 18 2020 Block III Super Hornet — Canada's Next Generation Fighter Capability for the 21st Century
Sept 3 2020 Coming Home
Dec 2019 Fear the Rhino

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F-18E Block III in flight 927008568
Aerial Landscape View of Beautiful Coastal Mountains on the Pacific Ocean Coast during a sunny summer morning. Taken near Tofino and Ucluelet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.