Posted by John McHale
ST. LOUIS, 26 March 2010. Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered the 79th -- and final -- upgraded CF-18 Hornet aircraft with new avionics displays to the Canadian Department of National Defense during a ceremony in Mirabel, Quebec, hosted by industry partner L-3 Communications MAS, who performed final upgrade installations. The delivery brings the nine-year, two-phased CF-18 Modernization Project to a close.
Phase 2 provided a data link system to ensure Canadian forces are interoperable with aircraft from the U.S. and other allied nations; the Boeing Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System to improve weapons targeting; new color cockpit displays to increase situational awareness; and an upgraded, chaff-and-flare dispensing electronic warfare system to improve survivability.
Phase 1 of the project, completed in 2006, upgraded the Canadian Hornet fleetÕs avionics, radar, radio and weapons capabilities.
Phase 1 was valued at $436 million and Phase 2 at $150 million. Boeing designed the upgrades and completed two prototype aircraft. L-3 Electronic Systems, with locations in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Toronto, developed and produced the upgraded crew station displays. L-3 Communications MAS installed the upgrades on the programÕs remaining 77 aircraft.
"BoeingÕs upgrades to CanadaÕs CF-18 fleet will ensure that this fighter force will remain effective and operationally credible for many years to come," says Jim OÕNeill, vice president and general manager, Boeing Integrated Logistics. "Nearly 30 years after the delivery of the first CF-18 Hornet, CanadaÕs defense forces are better equipped than ever, with more capability and a fully modernized fleet, due to the innovative upgrades designed and installed by Boeing and our partner, L-3 Communications MAS."