434 Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron

IN EXCELSIS VINCIMUS (We conquer in the heights) Significance: The squadron was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and took the nickname "Bluenose" in reference to the common nickname for Nova Scotians. The schooner Bluenose is well known for its fine record.

434 Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) Squadron ensures the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has the operational capability to address air power challenges of today and the future through the execution of prioritized and independent operational test and evaluation.


434 OT&E Squadron manages and coordinates the RCAF’s operational test and evaluation activities. Test and evaluation flights (TEFs) are collocated with operational units throughout the RCAF. The TEFs test, evaluate and investigate new technologies, procedures and tactics to ensure the RCAF remains prepared for future operations. The squadron’s headquarters is located at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, and it includes the project control flight that coordinates project requirements and standardizes project deliverables; the training flight that coordinates the development of project officers; and the squadron command team. The squadron also includes the RCAF Air Test and Evaluation Coordination (ATEC) office, which engages with external organizations to define and prioritize new OT&E projects.


The squadron comprises the following TEFs:

  • Maritime Helicopter Test and Evaluation Flight (MHTEF) at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia, is responsible for the operationalization of the CH‑148 Cyclone maritime helicopter.
  • Long Range Patrol Operational Test and Evaluation Flight (LRPTEF) at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, is primarily focused on the CP‑140 Aurora.
  • Land Aviation Test and Evaluation Flight (LATEF) at Saint-Hubert, Quebec, deals with tactical-aviation helicopters such as the CH‑147 Chinooks and CH‑146 Griffons.
  • Special Operations Aviation Test and Evaluation Flight (SOATEF) at 8 Wing Trenton deals with special-operations-forces air assets.
  • Aerospace Test and Evaluation Flight (AEROTEF) is collocated with 434 OT&E Squadron headquarters in 8 Wing Trenton and deals with ground-based aeronautical systems such as radars, navigational aids, meteorological systems and data links.
  • Transport Operational Test and Evaluation Flight (TOTEF) at 8 Wing Trenton deals with all air mobility fleets, such as the CC‑130J Hercules, CC‑177 Globemaster III and CC‑150 Polaris.
  • Fighter Operational Test and Evaluation Flight (FOTEF) at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, works with fighter aircraft.
  • Search and Rescue Test and Evaluation Flight (SARTEF) at 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, is responsible for the CC‑295 Kingfisher, CH‑149 Cormorant, CC‑130H Hercules and CH‑146 Griffon search-and-rescue fleets.

The complete squadron history is available on the National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage website.

434 Operation Test and Evaluation Squadron
8 Wing / CFB Trenton
PO Box 1000 Station Forces
Astra ON K0K 3W0

Email: 434Sqn@forces.gc.ca

Page details

Date modified: