Operation PEACE WINGS

International Operation Name: N/A

International Operation Dates:  N/A

Mandating Organization: Government of Canada

Region Name:  North America

Location:  United States

Canadian Operation Name: Operation PEACE WINGS

Canadian Operation Dates: 1970/02/07 – 1972/01/10

Mission Mandate:

To exchange 58 older Canadian CF-101 Voodoo aircraft for 66 improved USAF F-101

Mission Notes: 

The fifty-eight CF-101 Voodoo which Canada was contributing to North American air defence were nearing the end of their useful operational life by 1969, their performance and capabilities having fallen below those of the more modern Soviet bombers they were meant to intercept. However, as these same Soviet bomber aircraft were themselves becoming less important as a threat to North America – by now, the ballistic missile was the principal Soviet offensive weapon – the question of whether the Voodoos should be replaced (and by what) was a difficult one from the standpoint of cost. As it happened, the United States had available a number of Voodoo aircraft which been modified to permit better low-level performance and whose weapons systems (including radar, radar-detection, and electronic counter-measures) had been improved significantly. It was known that these could be made available to Canada, and on 6 October 1969 a plan was approved to exchange Canada’s fifty-eight CF-101s for sixty-six upgraded USAF Voodoos, the cost difference to be borne by using PINETREE radar-line cost-sharing credits. As a result, Canada would be able to meet its NORAD commitments until at least 1975.

The exchange of aircraft was given the name Operation PEACE WINGS. It began on 2 July 1970 when the agreement was signed with the United States and continued until 10 January 1972 when the last of the improved F-101s arrived in Canada.

Air to air view of 4 CF-101 Voodoo Aircraft flying in formation over the mountains.

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