09/30/2011. On April 10, 1980, the Canadian Armed Forces announced the selection of the F/A-18 for the replacement of the CF-101, CF-5, and CF-104.
The first example made its initial flight on July 29, 1982 and between October 7, 1982 and December 21, 1987, 138 aircraft were delivered, comprising 98 single-seaters (s/n 188701 to 188798) designated CF-188 and named
CF-18A, and 40 two-seaters (s/n 188901 to 188940) designated CF-188 and named CF-18B. The CF-188 is commonly referred to by the unofficial name Hornet.
By comparison with the USN F/A-18 version, the CF-188 is essentially identical, but has an Instrument Landing System (ILS) instead of the Automatic Carrier Landing System (ACLS), and has a 600,000-candlepower spotlight on the left side of fuselage for night identification of other aircraft in flight. Initially it had provision for LAU-5003 rocket pods with 19 Bristol Aerospace CRV-7 2.75 in (70 mm) rockets, and BL-755 cluster bombs, later other weapons were added.
This aircraft was taken on strength on May 15, 1986 and served with 439 Squadron in Europe and later with 441 (TF) Squadron at CFB Cold Lake, Alberta, followed by 409 Squadron, also at Cold Lake. Presently it is operated by 425 Squadron at CFB Bagotville, Quebec.