CF-188 demo

The CF-188 Hornet, or CF-18 as it is popularly known, is a multipurpose, high-performance twin-engine fighter that can handle both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. The CF-188 Hornet is a frontline multi-role fighter used for air defence, air superiority, ground attack, tactical support, training, aerobatic demonstration, and aerospace testing and evaluation. Because of its power, speed, and target tracking capabilities, the CF-188 has had great success in many military operations in Canada and around the world.

Adapted from the American F/A-18, the Canadian version of the jet features:

  • Sideward-aimed searchlight for nighttime visual identifications
  • Survival equipment adapted to the Canadian environment
  • Various cockpit layout modifications
  • A paint scheme incorporating a “spoof” canopy on the underside of the front fuselage, intended to confuse opponents during aerial close combat manoeuvres

General characteristics

  • Length: 17.07 m
  • Wingspan:12.31 m
  • Height: 4.66 m
  • Weight: 10,455 kg
  • Power: 2 General Electric F404 low bypass turbofan engines
  • Thrust: Standard: 4,850 kg (10,700 lbs.)
  • Afterburner: 7,290 kg (16,000 lbs.)
  • Max. Speed: Mach 1.8
  • Service Ceiling: 15,000 m
  • Range: 3,700 km


  • Air to Air: Air Intercept Missile (AIM) 9M infrared guided missile, AIM 7 radar guided missile, AIM 120 radar guided missile, 20 mm canon
  • Air To Ground: Mk 82, Mk 83, Mk 84 , GBU 10, 12, 16 and 24 laser guided bombs, Guided Bomb Unit (GBU) 31, 38 and 49 GPS guided bombs and the 20 mm cannon
  • Crew: 1 pilot (CF-188A), 2 pilots (CF-188B)
  • Year(s) procured: 1982 to 1988

Quantity in CF

Initial procurement of 138 aircraft, current fleet is 76 modernized aircraft


  • 3 Wing Bagotville, QC
  • 4 Wing Cold Lake, AB

Did you know? The CF-188’s twin engines generate enough thrust to lift 24 full-size pick-up trucks.