Canada   Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) • Aviation Royale Canadienne (ARC)

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Canadian Forces: Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force, Canada Command (homeland security) Active 53,359 (Army 26,500 Navy 11,025 Air 19,922) Civilian 4,900 (Coast Guard 4,554) Reserve 33,270 (Army 24,000 (Rangers 5,000), Navy 4,167, Air 2,344) Military service age and obligation: 17 years of age for voluntary male and female military service (with parental consent); 16 years of age for Reserve and Military College applicants; Canadian citizenship or permanent residence status required; maximum 34 years of age; service obligation 3-9 years (2012)


ROYAL CANADIAN AIR FORCE (RCAF) • Aviation Royale Canadienne (ARC)

The Canadian Air Force (formerly Air Command (AIRCOM)). 19,922 Personnel. (Plus 2,344 Primary Reservists integrated within total Air Force structure).


Forces by Role & Equipment by Type

Flying hours 104,939 planned for the year


• AIRCRAFT 95 combat capable. Total 176 Aircrafts.


Fighter Ground Attack 3 sqn with 65 FGA ac:

65 F-35A JSF FGA aircraft (CAD21 b ($21 b) deal (incl production of components in Canada); delivery probably 2016-2023; selected but contract not yet signed


Interceptor & Fighter Ground Attack 3 sqn with 77 Ftr/FGA ac:

(1 sqn at Bagotville and 2 sqns at Cold Lake )

60 CF-188AM Hornet (Boeing F/A-18AM Hornet);
17 CF-188BM Hornet (
Boeing F/A-18BM Hornet);


Maritime Patrol & Anti-submarine Aircraft 3 sqns with 18 MP ac;

2 sqns at Greenwood, 1 sqn at Comox 18 CP-140 Aurora (Lockheed Martin P-3 Orion)*


Maritime Reconnaissance, Search and Rescue & Fisheries & Arctic Patrol 1 sqn with 3 MR/SAR ac;

3 CP-140A Arcturus (Lockheed P-3 Orion)


Air Demostration (Snowbirds) 1 sqn with 25 Air Demo ac:

25 Canadair CT-144 Tutor;        


Air-to-Air Refueling & Transport 2 sqn with 10 Tkr/Tpt ac:

3 CC-150 Polaris (Airbus A-310 long-range transport aircraft); 

2 CC-150T MRTT (Airbus A-310MRTT);
5 KCC-130H/CC-130T Hercules (Lockheed Martin KC-130H/KC-130T Hercules)


Strategic Airlift (Transport9 1 sqn with 4 Tpt ac:

 4 CC-177 Globemaster III (Boeing C-17 Globemaster III);


VIP Transport and Utility 1 sqn with 6  Utl ac:

1 Tpt/Utl sqn with 6 CC-144B (CC-144/CE-144; Bombardier Challenger 600);


Transport & Search and Rescue 3 sqns with 17 Tpt/SAR ac:

1 Tpt/SAR sqn with 6 CC-115 Buffalo (de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo);

2 Tpt/SAR sqns with 11 CC-130E (Lockheed C-130E Hercules);

17 CC-130J Super Hercules (Lockheed Martin CC-130J-30 Super Hercules Fixed Wing Search and Rescue Replacement; The Canadian Forces are actively seeking a replacement for their fleet of 6  DHC-5 Buffalo and 11 C-130E search and rescue planes.)


Transport & Search and Rescue 1 sqn with 8 Tpt/SAR ac (Lockheed CC-130H/CH-149 Hercules of which 3 grounded):

6 CC-130H (Lockheed Martin C-130H Hercules);

2 CC-130H-30 (Lockheed Martin C-130H-30 Hercules);


Utility Transport & Search and Rescue 1 sqn with 4 Utl Tpt/Rescue ac:

1 Utl/Tpt sqn with 4 CC-138 Twin Otter (de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter);


Training 1 sqn with:1 Nav trg school in Winnipeg with 4 Trg ac

4 CT-142 Dash-8 (de Havilland Canada DHC-8 Dash 8; Aerial navigation and tactics trainer)


SAR Training school in Comox with 18 SAR/ Trg ac (see also NATO Flt Trg Canada)



• HELICOPTER 56 Combat capable. Total 166 Helicopters.


Anti-Submarine Warfare and Utility 3 sqn with 28 ASW hel: (2 sqn at Shearwater, 1 sqn at Victoria)

21 CH-124A (Sikorsky SH-3A Sea King; replaced by CH-148 Cyclones);

6 CH-124B (Sikorsky SH-3B Sea King; replaced by CH-148 Cyclones);  


28 CH-148 Cyclone (Skorsky H-92 Superhawk) ASW helicopter (2004 delivered from United States.  CAD5.7 b ($4.5 b) 'MHP' programme (incl CAD3.2 b for 24 year support and training; offsets incl production of components and assembly in Canada); Canadian designation CH-148 Cyclone; status uncertain (delivery delayed from 2008)


Heavy-Lift Transport & Support 1 sqn with 21 Spt hel:

6 CH-147 (Boeing CH-47D Chinook; 2008-2009 delivered. Second-hand; $249 m deal)  

15 CH-47F (Boeing CH-47F Chinook; delivery 2013-2014; CAD1.4 b ($1.4 b) deal)


Search and Rescue 1 sqn with 14 SAR hel:

14 CH-149 Cormorant (AgustaWestland AW101 SAR helicopter)


Utility Search and Rescue 5 sqns (Edmonton, Borden, Valcartier, St Hubert, Cagetown) with 68 CH-146 Griffon;

Search and Rescue 1 sqn with 14 SAR hel:

14 CH-146 Griffon (Bell 412):

Multipurpose Utility 4 sqns with 54 Utl hel:

54 CH-146 Griffon (Bell 412):


Rotary Flying Training 1 sqn with 7 Trg hel:

7 CH-139 Jet Ranger (Bell 206 Jet Ranger);





 Unmanned combat air vehicle (UCAV)

 ? Predator C Avenger (Order planning)


 Joint Uninhabited Surveillance and Target Acquisition System (JUSTAS)

 ? TBD Global Hawk [UAV (2014–2017)


 Unmanned aerial reconnaissance (UAV) 1 sqn with 5 Tactical Recce UAV:

 2 IAI CU-170 Heron;

 ? Skylark


 Miniature UAVs (MUAV) 5 MUAV:

 5 Prioria Embedded Intelligence Maveric UAS


 Miniature UAVs (SUAV) 5 SUAV:

 1 Boeing ScanEagle

 2 ALIX / BAE Systems

 2 BTE CU-171 Super Hauler


 Joint precision airdrop system

 ? MMIST Canada


 Logistics Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)? LUAV:

 ? CQ-10 Snowgoose (MMIST Canada)



  ASM 16 AGM-65G Maverick (2000-2003 delivered)

  AAM AIM-7M Sparrow; AIM-9L Sidewinder; AIM-120C AMRAAM

  BVRAAM 86 AIM-7F Sparrow (1982-1984 delivered. for F/A-18), 184 AIM-7M Sparrow (1986 delivered), 284 AIM-7M Sparrow (19889-1991 delivered. for F/A-18), 97 AIM-120C5 AMRAAM (2007 delivered)

  SRAAM 182 AIM-9L Sidewinder (1982-1984 delivered), 416 AIM-9M Sidewinder (1985-1988 delivered. incl 40 training missiles; for F/A-18), 100 AIM-9M Sidewinder (1989-1990 delivered)



  Conventional: Mk 82; Mk 83; Mk 84

  Laser-Guided Bomb: GBU-10/ GBU-12/ GBU-16 Paveway II; GBU-24 Paveway III

  100 GBU-12 Paveway (1996 delivered)

  1050 GBU-12 Paveway-2 (2003-2005 delivered)

  1350 GBU-12 Paveway-3 (2012-2013 delivered)

  Guided shell

  100 M-982 Excalibur (2007-2008 delivered. For use in Afghanistan)

  100 M-982 Excalibur (2013 delivered)


 • RADAR 53


  11 Long Range; 36 Short Range


  4 Coastal; 2 Transportable



Air Force Air Defence Systems


555 Blowpipe Portable SAM (1976-1983 delivered)

1100 Javelin Portable SAM (1991-1992 delivered)

AD Gun System

20 GDF-005 35 mm AA guns (1988-1991 delivered)




  Royal Canadian Air Force Main Headquarters: HQ Located at Ottawa.

Royal Canadian Air Force Airfields and Airbases Organisation (Current Order of Battle):


Canadian Air Force Airbases. CFB Bagotville, Que., CFB Borden, Ont., CFB Cold Lake, Alt., CFB Comox, British Columbia, CFB Gagetown, N.B., CFB Goose Bay, Nfl., CFB Greenwood, N.S., CFB Moose Jaw, Sas., CFB Petawawa, Ont., CFB Shearwater, N.S., CFB Trenton, Ont.,CFB Valcartier, Que.,CFB Winnipeg, Man.,Edmonton Garrisson, Alberta,Gander IAP, Nfl.,Montreal - St.Hubert, Que.,Ottawa - MacDonald Cartier IAP, Ont.,Portage la Prairie / Southport Aerospace Centre, Man.,Victoria IAP - Patricia Bay, B.C., Yellowknife, NWT


CFB Bagotville, Que. (CYBG) Airbase

3 Wing, 425 Tactical Fighter Squadron (Alouettes): CF-188, CF-188B               


CFB Borden, Ont. (CYBN) Airbase

1 Wing, 400 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (City of Toronto): CH-146                 


CFB Cold Lake, Alt. (CYOD) Airbase - 4 Wing.

409 Tactical Fighter (Night Hawk) Squadron: CF-188, CF-188B

410 Tactical Fighter (Cougar Operational Training) Squadron: CF-188, CF-188B 

417 Combat Support Squadron (City of Windsor): CH-146        

419 Tactical Fighter Training Squadron (City of Kamloops): CT-155                  

Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (Experto Crede): CF-188, CF-188B, CT-114, CH-146


CFB Comox, British Columbia (CYQQ) Airbase - 19 Wing,

407 Maritime Patrol (Demon) Squadron: CP-140                       

442 Search and Rescue Squadron (Un Dieu, Une Reine, Un Coeur): CC-115, CH-149


CFB Gagetown, N.B. (CYCX) Airbase

1 Wing, 403 Helicopter Operational Training Squadron (City of Calgary): CH-146                      


CFB Goose Bay, Nfl. (CYYR) Airbase

5 Wing, 444 Combat Support (Cobra) Squadron: CH-146                     


CFB Greenwood, N.S. (CYZX) Airbase - 14 Wing,

404 Maritime Patrol and Training (Buffalo) Squadron: CP-140

405 Maritime Patrol (Eagle) Squadron: CP-140, CP-140A

413 Transport and Rescue (Tusker) Squadron: CC-130H, CH-149                      

Maritime Proving and Evaluation (Novam Quaere Scientiam) Squadron: CP-140, CP-140A                    


CFB Moose Jaw, Sas. (CYMJ) Airbase - 15 Wing

431 Air Demonstration (Snowbirds) Squadron: CT-114              

2 Canadian Forces Flying Training School (The Big 2): CT-155, CT-156             

2CFFTS operates under the NATO Flying Training in Canada (NFTC).


CFB Petawawa, Ont. (CYWA) 1 Wing

427 Special Operations Aviation (Lion) Squadron: CH-146

450 Tactical Helicopter (By Air To Battle) Squadron: CH-147F               


CFB Shearwater, N.S. (CYAW) Airbase - 12 Wing

406 Maritime Helicopter Operational Training Squadron (City of Saskatoon): CH-124A, CH-124B

423 Maritime Helicopter (Eagle) Squadron: CH-124A, CH-124B

Helicopter Operational Test & Evaluation Facility (Superbium in Progressum): CH-124A, CH-124B         


CFB Trenton, Ont. (CYTR) Airbase - 8 Wing,

424 Transport and Rescue Squadron (City of Hamilton): CC-130H, CH-146

426 Transport Training (Thunderbird) Squadron: CC-130E, CC-130H

429 Transport (Bison) Squadron: CC-177

436 Transport (Elephant) Squadron: CC-130J

437 Transport (Husky) Squadron: CC-150

Multi-Engine Utility Flight: Beech B200 (leased)            

Aerospace & Telecommunications Engineering Support Squadron: Maintenance and storage of various types             


CFB Valcartier, Que. (CYOY) Airbase

1 Wing, 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (City of Sudbury): CH-146    


CFB Winnipeg, Man. (CYWG) Airbase - 17 Wing,

402 Transport and Training Squadron (City of Winnipeg): CT-142                      

435 Transport and Rescue (Chinthe) Squadron: CC-130H          


Edmonton Garrisson, Alberta (CYED) Airbase

1 Wing, 408 Tactical Helicopter (Goose) Squadron: CH-146      


Gander IAP, Nfl. (CYQX) Airbase

9 Wing, 103 Search and Rescue (Albert) Squadron: CH-149     


Montreal - St.Hubert, Que. (CYHU) Airbase

1 Wing, 438 Tactical Helicopter Squadron (City of Montreal): CH-146               


Ottawa - MacDonald Cartier IAP, Ont. (CYOW) Airbase

3 Wing, 414 Electronic Warfare (Black Knight) Squadron: Alpha Jet A (leased), IAI1124 (leased)           

8 Wing, 412 Transport Squadron (Falcon): CC-144A, CC-144B, CC-144C          


Portage la Prairie / Southport Aerospace Centre, Man. (CYPG) Airbase

3 Canadian Forces Flying Training School. Beech C90B, Grob G120A, Bell 412CF, Bell 206B-3


Victoria IAP - Patricia Bay, B.C. (CYYJ) Airbase

12 Wing, 443 Maritime Helicopter (Hornet) Squadron: CH-124A, CH-124B         


Yellowknife, NWT (CYZF) Airbase

17 Wing, 440 Transport (Vampire) Squadron: CC-138   



Note: Canada has 514 airports with paved runways (over 3,047 m: 18 2,438 to 3,047 m: 20 1,524 to 2,437 m: 148 914 to 1,523 m: 249 under 914 m: 79), 890 airports with unpaved runways (1,524 to 2,437 m: 73 914 to 1,523 m: 377 under 914 m: 440), and 12 heliports.

Official website:

Canada AF

   Canada AF News:

Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) 50 years of tradition

• Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) 50 years of tradition  (6.08.2021)

Announcing the Royal Canadian Air Force 2024 Logo

• Announcing the Royal Canadian Air Force 2024 Logo  (6.07.2021)

Canadian Air Force accepts first new SAR plane despite issue with manuals

• Canadian Air Force accepts first new SAR plane despite issue with manuals  (24.12.2019)

• Top Aces sees expanded role for red air as Air Force training  (9.06.2019)

• Canada seeks to address U.S. complaints about bidding process for fighter jets  (8.05.2019)

• Sky Lease Cargo Boeing 747-412F runway excursion accident at Halifax /Canada  (7.11.2018)

• Canada doesn’t need Fighter-capable aircraft

• Improvements in store for Canadian SAR system

• Canada: Experts compare new aircraft delay to F-35 planes controversy

• Canada: Experts compare new aircraft delay to F-35 planes controversy

• Canadian Improvements to search and rescue pledged after auditor complaints

• Maintenance contract for Canadian military Hercules planes goes to BC company

• Analyzing the pros and cons of the Boeing Super Hornet as Canada’s next generation fighter.


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