List of aircraft of the Royal Canadian Air Force

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This list identifies the military aircraft which are currently being operated or have formerly been operated by the Canadian Forces Air Command (1968–2011) or the Royal Canadian Air Force (2011–present).

Current fixed-wing aircraft[edit]

Aircraft Country of Manufacture Type Year(s) Produced Canadian Designation In Service[1] Notes
Multirole Fighter
McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet  Canada
United States USA
fighter lead-in trainer
1982–1988 CF-188A
Originally Ordered 138: 98 CF-188A / 40 CF-188B. 15 CF-188A and 2 CF-188B have crashed since 1984, never during combat, killing a total of 7 pilots. 1 CF-188A and 7 CF-188B have been removed from operational service. Many of the crashed or retired aircraft are still used for parts as well as experimental and research purposes. Stationed at 3 Wing Bagotville and 4 Wing Cold Lake. Often referred to as "CF-18".[2]
CT-156 Harvard II United States USA Trainer 2000 CT-156 25 Replaced Canadair CL-41 Tutor as trainer; Leased and stationed at 15 Wing Moose Jaw. 24 originally ordered and received in 2000, 2 added in 2002.[3] 1 damaged, possibly 156112 when a student accidentally ejected while parked on the ramp.
BAe CT-155 Hawk United Kingdom UK lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) 2000 CT-155 20[4] 20 originally ordered and delivered from 2000 to 2002, 2 added in 2004 to replace 155202 and 155216 lost in crashes. 11 with 2 CFFTS and 9 with 419 squadron[5]
de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8  Canada aerial navigation and tactics trainer 1987
CT-142 4 Operated by 402 "City of Winnipeg" Sqn and stationed at 17 Wing, Winnipeg
Demonstration Aircraft
Canadair CL-41 Tutor  Canada jet demonstration aircraft 1962 CT-114 25 Entered service as a basic and advanced jet trainer, replaced by the CT-156 Harvard II and CT-155 Hawk in 2000. Now used by 431 Air Demonstration Squadron "The Snowbirds"; expected to be replaced by December 2020.[6] Originally 190 delivered.
Airbus A310  France Strategic Transport
1992–1993 CC-150
Originally ordered by Wardair, sold to Canadian Airlines and purchased by the military. Replaced Boeing CC-137; Stationed at 8 Wing Trenton
2 CC-150 have been converted to tankers and re-designated as CC-150T
C-17 Globemaster III United States USA strategic airlift 2007–2008 CC-177 5 Stationed at 8 Wing Trenton, a fifth aircraft was ordered in December 2014.[7][8]
Bombardier Challenger 600  Canada utility transport
VIP transport
CC-144 6 Operated by 412(T) Sqn and based in Ottawa, but under command of 8 Wing Trenton Utility aircraft are 2 blue CL601s and VIP aircraft are white: 1 CL600, 1 CL601 and 2 newer CL604s)
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter  Canada utility transport / fixed-wing search and rescue 1970s CC-138 4 Stationed at Yellowknife, NT. 440 Squadron attached to 17 Wing, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United States USA tactical transport / fixed-wing search and rescue 1964–1997 CC-130E
Stationed at 8 Wing Trenton, 14 Wing Greenwood and 17 Wing Winnipeg. One B,[9] five E and three H aircraft lost to crashes. Eleven of nineteen remaining E models have been retired due to airframe life limits.[10] E models are being replaced with CC-130J Super Hercules, while H models will continue until 2017 in the Search and Rescue role.
Lockheed Martin CC-130J Super Hercules United States USA short-medium haul tactical lift aircraft 2010–2012 CC-130J-30 17
Search and Rescue
de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo  Canada fixed-wing search and rescue 1967 CC-115 6 Will be retired once a replacement found (either EADS CASA C-295 or Alenia Aeronautica C-27J Spartan; all six fly for 442 Transport and Rescue Sqn at 19 Wing Comox
Maritime Patrol
Lockheed CP-140 Aurora United States USA Maritime Patrol / Anti-submarine Aircraft 1980 CP-140 18 Stationed at 19 Wing Comox and 14 Wing Greenwood
Lockheed CP-140A Arcturus United States USA maritime reconnaissance, search and rescue and fisheries & Arctic patrol 1991 CP-140A 1 CP140/A 119 is the only Arcturus remaining and is used as a training aircraft for the school at 404 Long Range Patrol and Training (LRP&T) Squadron, at 14 Wing Greenwood.[11]
Unmanned aerial vehicle
Maveric UAS  United States Miniature UAVs (MUAV) 2010 Prioria Embedded Intelligence 5 The CF will procure the Maveric MUAV for $2.9 million.[12] for employment by ground forces
Boeing ScanEagle / Boeing and Insitu  United States Miniature UAVs (SUAV) 2008 Boeing ScanEagle 1 Leased for 9 months for use by ground forces until the replacement of the CU-161.[13] On April 3, 2009, PWGSC awarded a contract to Insitu Inc. to provide the Canadian Forces with services for Small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (SUAVs). The contract is estimated to cost $30 million.[14][15] PWGSC worked closely with DND on a competitive procurement called Project NOCTUA to lease Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) services for a two-year period, with an additional one-year option.[16]
IAI Heron  Israel unmanned aerial reconnaissance 2008–2011 CU-170 Heron 3 leased,
2 remain in service
Leased from MacDonald Dettwiler in partnership with Israel Aircraft Industries for use in Afghanistan. Forecast to be replaced by new JUSTAS project UAV in 2011.[17]
ALIX / BAE Systems  Canada Miniature UAVs (SUAV) 2004-2005 Silver Fox (CU-167) [18][19] 1 or 2 Tested by Defence Research and Development Canada in 2004 and RCN in 2005; no orders
MMIST  Canada Joint precision airdrop system N/A Joint precision airdrop system [20][21] N/A MMIST awarded $3.4MM Joint Precision Airdrop System contract by Canadian Military in 2009.
MMIST  Canada Logistics Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) N/A CQ-10 Snowgoose [20][21] N/A Tested at CFB Cold Lake in 2007.
BTE Super Hauler  United States Miniature UAVs (SUAV) 2012-13 CU-171 Super Hauler[22] 2 Operated by the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Studies (CFSAS) as a test article for the Aerospace Systems and Operational Test and Evaluation (ASC and OT&E) Courses. The CU-171 has been modified through the addition of a Micro Pilot autopilot and carries an IMSAR NanoSAR B radar and DRS Technologies i2i-3 EO/IR turret.

Current helicopters[edit]

Aircraft Country of Manufacture Type Year(s) Produced Canadian Designation # of aircraft in service[1] Notes
AgustaWestland AW101  Italy
Medium SAR helicopter 2000 CH-149 14 Fifty originally ordered. In 1987 the Mulroney government announced the purchase of 35 EH-101 to replace the CH-124 Sea King and 15 EH-101 to replace the Search and Rescue CH-113 Labrador. In 1993 the Chrétien government cancelled the contract. Obtained 9 Lockheed Martin VH-71 Kestrel from the United States as spare parts for CH-149.[23]
CH-47 Chinook  United States Cargo helicopter 2008 CH-147 15 Twin-rotor medium/heavy lift helicopter. Six CH-147 "D" model entered service in 2008 and were operationally deployed in January 2009 to Afghanistan. A further 15 long range hybrid "F" models are on order, with the delivery of the first completed in June 2013.[24][25][26] The CH-147 "F" model is fitted with MX-15 EO/IR surveillance turrets and AN/ALQ-213V Electronic Warfare Management System (EWMS).[27][28][29] The five remaining CH-147s (CH-47D) assigned to Joint Task Force Afghanistan Air Wing were returned to US (AMARC in Arizona) for storage and no longer in active service in 2011.[30]
Bell 206  United States Trainer 1982 CH-139 13
Bell 412  Canada Multipurpose utility helicopter 1995 CH-146 98 Originally ordered 100. 85 allocated for tactical helicopter use and 15 for the search and rescue role. Eight CH-146 Griffons were modified to act as armed escorts for CH-147 Chinook helicopters in Afghanistan, starting in December 2008 and fully operational since January 2009.
SH-3 Sea King  United States
ASW / utility helicopter 1964 CH-124 27 Originally ordered 41, to be phased out after at least 50 years of service and replaced by 28 CH-148 Cyclones.
Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone  United States ASW / utility helicopter 2010 CH-148 0 Still waiting for first delivery.

Retired aircraft[edit]

Aircraft Canadian designation Country of manufacture Type In service # of aircraft Notes
Canadair CL-30/T-33 Silver Star CT-133 Silver Star  Canada fighter trainer 1953–2005 576[31][32] Licence-built Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
Lockheed C-130B Hercules CC-130B United States USA tactical transport 1960–1967 4 One crashed in 1967, remainder returned to Lockheed when Canada acquired much more capable CC-130E model aircraft.
McDonnell F-101B Voodoo CF-101B Voodoo  United States fighter 1961–1987 56+56 Survivors exchanged in 1970-71 for 56 upgraded USAF aircraft with lower time airframes. Replaced with CF-188.
McDonnell F-101F Voodoo CF-101F Voodoo  United States fighter trainer 1961–1987 10+10 Exchanged 10 aircraft for older airframes in 1970-71 as above. Replaced with CF-188.
McDonnell EF-101B Voodoo EF-101B "Electric" Voodoo  United States electronic warfare fighter 1983–1987 1 Replaced with CF-188.
Canadair CL-90 Starfighter CF-104 Starfighter  Canada nuclear strike/attack and recce roles 1961–1986 200 Lockheed F-104 Starfighter Licence-built in Canada. One single-seat Palmdale-built aircraft used as a model.
Canadair CL-90D Starfighter CF-104D Starfighter  United States fighter trainer 1962–1985 38 Lockheed F-104D Starfighter licence-built
Canadair CL-28 Argus CP-107 Argus  Canada Maritime Patrol / Anti-submarine Aircraft 1957–1981 13; 20 Replaced by CP-140 Aurora
Bell CUH-1N Twin Huey CH-135 Twin Huey  United States light utility helicopter 1971–1997 50 Replaced by CH-146
Bell CUH-1H Iroquois CH-118 Iroquois  United States light utility helicopter 1968–1995 10 Replaced by CH-146
de Havilland Canada CS2F Tracker CP-121 Tracker  Canada ASW surveillance 1956–1990 99+1 Grumman S-2 Tracker licence-built as CS2F for RCN. One Grumman-built aircraft used as production model and later as stationary ground crew trainer.[33] Replaced by CP-140 Aurora.
de Havilland Canada Dash 7 CC-132 "Dash-7"  Canada STOL transport 1979–1988 2 Replaced by CT-142
Boeing Vertol Model 107-II-9 CH-113 Labrador  United States maritime search and rescue helicopter 1964–2002 6 Replaced by CH-149
Boeing Vertol Model 107-II-28 CH-113A Voyageur  United States Assault and utility transport 1964–1995 12 Replaced by CH-149
de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou CC-108 Caribou  Canada STOL transport 1960–1971 9 Replaced with CC-115
de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo CC-115 Buffalo  Canada STOL transport 1965–2012 15 Replaced by C-130F
Boeing 707-320C CC-137 Husky  United States transport / VIP aircraft / air refueling 1970–1997 5 Most returned to US and used for Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint STARS or as spare parts[citation needed]; replaced by CC-150
Avro Canada CF-100 Canuck CF-100 Canuck  Canada Interceptor fighter 1955–1981 329 Replaced by CF-188
Beechcraft Musketeer Model B23 CT-134 Musketeer  United States light trainer 1971–1984 24 Replaced by CT-134A Musketeer II
Beechcraft Musketeer Model C23 CT-134A Musketeer II  United States light trainer 1981–1992 24 Replaced by leased Slingsby T67 Firefly from Bombardier Aerospace
Beechcraft B200 Super King Air  United States transport 1991–1995 3 Operated by Bombardier Aerospace as trainers as well.
Bell OH-58 Kiowa CH-136 Kiowa  United States light attack helicopter 1971–1995 65 Replaced by CH-146 Griffon.
Bell 206B JetRanger III CH-136  United States light observation helicopter 1981–1992 14
Boeing CH-47C Chinook CH-147 Chinook  United States heavy lift helicopter 1974–1991 9 Sold to Royal Netherlands Air Force
Canadair CL-44 CC-106 Yukon  Canada transport 1959–1970 12 Replaced with CC-130
Canadair CL-84-1A Dynavert  Canada tilt wing monoplane 1965–1975 4 Demonstrator only
Canadair CL-66B CC-109 Cosmopolitan  Canada turboprop transport 1960–1993 10 Licence-built Convair 440
Dassault Falcon 20C CC-117  France small jet 1967–1989 8 Replaced by Canadair CC-144
de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk CT-120 Chipmunk  Canada single-engined piston basic trainer 1948–1972 113 Replaced by CT-134 trainers
de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter CC-123 Otter  Canada light single-engine piston STOL transport aircraft 1953–1982 69
de Havilland Canada DHC-7R Ranger CC-132R  Canada turboprop transport 1979–1984 2 Retired ahead of the closure of CFB Lahr
Douglas Dakota CC-129 Dakota  United States military transport 1943–1988 173 Replaced with the CC-142
Grumman HU-16B Albatross CSR-110 Albatross  United States twin-radial engine amphibious flying boat 1960–1970 10 Replaced with CC-115 Buffalo.
MBB/Kawasaki BK 117-A3 CH-143  Germany twin-engined medium utility/transport helicopter 1990 1 Demonstrator only and returned to MBB Canada
Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk.5 CF-86 Sabre  Canada fighter 1953–1975 370 Licence-built North American F-86 Sabre
Canadair CL-13 Sabre Mk.6 CF-86 Sabre  Canada fighter 1954–1975 430 Licence-built North American F-86 Sabre
Canadair CF-5A CF-116A Freedom Fighter  Canada fighter, reconnaissance 1968–1995 89 Licence-built Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter
Canadair CF-5D CF-116D Freedom Fighter  Canada fighter trainer 1968–1995 46 Licence-built Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter
SAGEM Sperwer CU-161  France
unmanned aerial reconnaissance 2003–18 April 2009[17] 23 Retired 2009
Boeing B-47B Stratojet CL-52  United States Engine test bed 1956-1959 1 Taken on strength by RCAF as a flying test-bed for the Orenda Iroquois jet engine for the CF-105 Arrow.

Leased and contract aircraft[edit]

The Canadian Forces have leased aircraft from vendors to help transport troops and equipment from Canada and other locations in the past decade.

Aircraft Country of manufacture Type In service[34] Notes
Beechcraft B200 Super King Air United States USA light transport and utility aircraft 2009–Present Two aircraft leased from Aero Support Canada Inc. Part of the Multi-Engine Utility Flight(MEUF) based at CFB Trenton. Flown by Canadian Force pilots, they are used for light transport of personnel and equipment within North America.
Dornier Alpha Jet Type A  Germany jet trainer 2005–present 4 leased by Discovery Air Defence Services for CATS (Contracted Airborne Training Services); ex-German Luftwaffe aircraft; based at 3 Wing
Hawker Hunter F.58  United Kingdom jet trainer 2002–2005? 12 jets leased from Northern Lights Combat Air Support; former Swiss Air Force fighters; based at 4 Wing CFB Cold Lake
Ilyushin Il-76  Russia strategic airlift post-2001 - 2008? Contract with Toronto, Ontario based Skylink Aviation Inc for transporting equipment to Kandahar from Turkey or CFB Edmonton; contract ends with delivery of C-17
Mil Mi-17  Russia medium lift helicopter post-2001 - 2008? Contract with Skylink Aviation for transporting equipment and troops in the Balkans and Afghanistan
Antonov An-225 Mriya  Ukraine strategic airlift post-2001 - 2008? Contract for use in the Middle East; contract ends with delivery of C-17
Antonov An-124 Ruslan  Russia strategic airlift post-2001 - 2008? Contract to ship supplies from CFB Trenton to Canadian Forces serving in Afghanistan; contract ends with delivery of C-17
Mil Mi-8  Russia transport helicopter November 2008 To be leased from SkyLink Aviation for use in Afghanistan
IAI Heron  Israel unmanned aerial reconnaissance 2008–2011 3 leased from MacDonald Dettwiler in partnership with Israel Aircraft Industries for use in Afghanistan, designated CU-170 Heron for $95 million for training and operations contract to keep the Herons in service until early 2011, with a C$35 million option for an additional 3rd year.[17][35][36]
Boeing ScanEagle  United States unmanned aerial reconnaissance 2008–2009 Leased from Boeing for use in Afghanistan for 9 months

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Aviation Week & Space Technology 2009, 26 JAN 2009 240. Web.5 Aug 2009
  2. ^ "Canadian CF-18 fighter jets to be kept in use until 2025". October 2, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Canadian Forces CT-156". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  4. ^ "Canadian Forces Hawks". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  5. ^ "CT155 Walkaround". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  6. ^ "Snowbirds Prepare To Retire CT-114 Tutor". 2012-08-18. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Canadian Defence Minister gave green light for a fifth C-17 Globemaster III military airlifter". December 22, 2014. 
  9. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Lockheed CC-130B Hercules 10304 North Battleford, SK". Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  10. ^ "Canadian Forces CC-130 Hercules". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  11. ^ The Final Flight of CP140/A AC120 To Tucson, Arizona
  12. ^ "Canada buys Maveric MUAV". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  13. ^ "Canadian military acquiring new helicopters, drones". CBC News. August 7, 2008. 
  14. ^ "New contract for small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAV) will boost economy". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  15. ^ "New contract for small unmanned aerial vehicles (SUAV)". 2009-04-06. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  16. ^ "Project Noctua". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  17. ^ a b c COPA Flight 8 (June 2009). "Canadian Forces Briefing on UAVs". Retrieved 2009-06-30. 
  18. ^ "Silver Fox UAV - Canadian National Defence ALIX". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  19. ^ "UAVs in Canada 2004 Update-1.indd" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  20. ^ a b Sherpa, Snow goose devices offer link to remote work sites
  21. ^ a b Canadian Forces Aerospace Warfare Centre: Improving CF SAR capabilities
  22. ^ "Voxair Issue 22". Retrieved 2013-12-18. 
  23. ^ Pugliese, David (16 June 2011). "Obama’s choppers purchased for parts for Cormorants". Victoria Times Colonist. 
  24. ^ Canadian Press (August 2009). "Boeing nets $1.2B contract for 15 Chinook choppers". Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  25. ^ Pugliese, David. "It’s Official: First CH-147F Delivered To Canadian Military | Ottawa Citizen". Retrieved 2013-07-03. 
  26. ^ "Boeing Completes Delivery of Canadian CH-147F Chinooks Transport Helicopter". July 2, 2014. 
  27. ^ 28-Oct-2010 16:13 UTC (2010-10-28). "On The Verge: Canada’s $4B+ Program for Medium-Heavy Transport Helicopters". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  28. ^ "L-3 WESCAM to Supply Boeing with MX-15 EO/IR Imaging Sensors for Canadian Forces Helicopter Program A CH-147D (147202) was shot down in August 2010 by small arms fire which started an engine fire". 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  29. ^ Canadian Forces confirms helicopter was brought down by small arms fire
  30. ^ "Canada receives Boeing CH-47 Chinook with Raytheon cockpit.". October 10, 2013. 
  31. ^ Green, William: Observers Aircraft, page 194. Frederick Warne Publishing, 1956.
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Grumman CS2F/CP 121 Tracker". Shearwater Aviation Museum. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "World Military Aircraft Inventory", Aerospace Source Book 2007, Aviation Week & Space Technology, January 15, 2007.
  35. ^ 02-Sep-2010 10:42 UTC (2010-09-02). "Canada, Australia Contract for Heron UAVs". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  36. ^ 19-Dec-2005 03:04 UTC (2005-12-19). "Canada Crafting High-End UAV Requirements". Retrieved 2011-03-17. 

External links[edit]