In a pivotal juncture for Canada’s air defence capabilities, L3Harris, the Canadian fighter aircraft supplier, has marked a significant stride by delivering the inaugural fighter aircraft under the Hornet Extension Project (HEP).

The project is geared towards reinforcing Canada’s CF-188 Hornet fleet, ensuring operational readiness until the imminent induction of the F-35 next-generation fighter aircraft in 2032.

The first phase of the HEP encompasses modifications on 94 CF-188s, introducing upgrades to meet regulatory standards and enhance interoperability. These enhancements are poised to empower the CF-188s to navigate civilian airspace while coordinating with allied forces.

The subsequent phase focuses on elevating the combat prowess of 36 CF-188s through crafted hardware and software improvements to guarantee sustained operational efficacy until their intended retirement.

Long-standing collaborators, L3Harris and the Royal Canadian Air Force have fostered a partnership spanning over 35 years. During this alliance, L3Harris has breathed new life into Canada’s fighter aircraft fleet, infusing modernisation and structural enhancements that have extended the platform’s operational relevance.

The company’s proficiency is further underscored by its stewardship of aircraft fleets like the CC-150 Polaris, CP-140 Aurora, CH-148 Cyclone, and CH-147F Chinook, to name a few, symbolising the depth of their commitment to bolstering Canada’s strategic aerial capabilities.

“L3Harris is Canada’s only fighter aircraft centre of excellence,” asserted Ugo Paniconi, General Manager at L3Harris. “This contract is a testament to our ongoing performance and commitment to our customer’s mission. For over three decades, we have proudly maintained Canada’s only fighter aircraft fleet, and we look forward to the opportunity of continuing our rich legacy of ISS on Canada’s future F-35 fleet.”

Canada’s Future Fighter Capability Project aims to replace the Royal Canadian Air Force’s ageing fleet of CF-188 Hornets with 88 new-generation fighters. The air force has agreed to replace CF-188 Hornets with Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, according to GlobalData’s report on “The Global Military Fixed Wing Aircraft Market 2023-2033“.

L3Harris has garnered international acclaim for its prowess in effecting fighter aircraft structural modifications and life-extension solutions. The company’s achievements encompass undertakings with entities such as the Royal Australian Air Force, the U.S. Navy, the Swiss Air Force, the Finnish Air Force, and NASA.

As the Hornet Extension Project progresses, L3Harris is poised to remain at the vanguard of ushering in a new era of operational excellence, ensuring Canada’s preparedness in the realm of aerial defence.