Hornet Extension Project

Project summary

Canada requires fighter aircraft to contribute to the safety and security of Canadians and protect the sovereignty of one of the largest expanses of airspace in the world.

The Hornet Extension Project will help ensure that the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) Hornet fighter fleet is able to meet operational commitments, including to the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), until 2032, when the permanent fleet of F-35s is expected to be fully operational.

Project phases

Currently in Phase 4: Implementation

1. Identification

1. Identification

  • N/A
2. Options analysis

2. Options analysis

  • Statement of Requirements (SOR) Approval: January 28, 2019
  • Project charter sign-off: March 29, 2019
3. Definition

3. Definition

  • Project approval phase 1: June 6, 2019
  • Project approval phase 2: May 15, 2020
4. Implementation

4. Implementation

  • Project approval: May 15, 2020
  • Amended project approval: December 9, 2021
  • Initial operational capability: December 2023
  • Full operational capability: June 2025
5. Close-out

5. Close-out

  • December 2026

Learn more about the Defence procurement process.

Additional information

Project updates

Project updates

July 29, 2022
Embedded Global Positioning System/Inertial Navigation System (EGI) contract awarded to Northrop Grumman.

May 4, 2022
Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities (SCIF) contract awarded to Raymond EMC.

February 7, 2022
Start of Phase 2 flight testing.

December 9, 2021
Treasury Board approval for full Implementation with amended expenditure authority and contracting authority received.

February 26, 2021
All nine letters of offer and acceptance from the United States Government have been accepted for acquisitions under the Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.

May 15, 2020
Treasury Board project approval (Definition) phase 2 and (Implementation) with expenditure authority and contracting authority received.

March 4, 2020
Start of Phase 1 flight testing.

November 29, 2019
Defence Procurement Strategy Governance Board Gate #2 and #3 completed for specific phase 2 systems.

October 16-17, 2019
Integration meeting with the United States Navy and Air Force took place to finalize Phase 2 activities, delivery schedule and costing.

September 27, 2019
Defence Procurement Strategy Governance Board Gate #1 completed for phase 2.

June 20, 2019
Independent Review Panel Defence Acquisition (IRPDA) for phase 2 was completed.

June 6, 2019
Treasury Board has approved the project and expenditure authority was received for phase 1.


Benefiting Canadian Industry

Industrial Technological Benefits will be considered for all acquisitions in excess of $20M.

Technical information

Technical information

The Hornet Extension Project was approved in two phases that are being implemented in parallel.

  • Phase 1 is delivering enhancements for up to 88 CF-18 aircraft, mainly focused on addressing evolving civilian air traffic management regulations and meeting allied military interoperability requirements.
  • Phase 2 is focused on additional combat capability upgrades for 36 CF-18 aircraft, to ensure that sufficient, operationally relevant, mission-ready CF-18 fighters are available to meet air power capability requirements in the current battle space until the F-35 reaches its full operational capability.
Project costs

Project costs

The acquisition cost, including project management costs, infrastructure, contracts and contingency is estimated at $1.3 billion.




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