A versatile, world-class fighter aircraft, the supersonic CF-18 Hornet can engage both ground and aerial targets. Its twin engines generate enough thrust to lift 24 full-size pick-up trucks off the ground.
As the Canadian Air Force’s frontline multi-role fighter, the CF-18 is used for air defence, air superiority, tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation.
The aircraft is equipped with a sophisticated radar system that can track targets in all weather and from great distances. An optional Nitehawk pod, which contains an infra-red (heat-sensitive) camera, allows pilots to see targets at night and in low visibility conditions. The pod also has a laser designator to guide precision bombing.
Because of its superior power and speed, and its exceptional tracking capabilities, the CF-18 has had great success in hundreds of military operations in Canada and around the world.
During the Gulf War, Canada sent 24 CF-18s to Qatar to participate in the American-led Desert Shield and Desert Storm campaigns. Canadian Air Force pilots flew more than 5700 hours and 2700 sorties.
Since the September 11 terrorist attacks, Canada’s fighter force has been committed to protecting North Americans from future threats. Armed CF-18s are deployed across Canada to protect the nation from threats originating within our own airspace. The CF-18 is also involved in Operation Noble Eagle-NORAD’s mission to safeguard North American skies.