Canada Bids Farewell to the Hawk

Gepubliceerd op 13 maart 2024 om 15:12

© Huy Do

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) prepares to transition its frontline fighter from the CF-18 Hornet to the F-35A Lightning II.

One of the first steps in this transition is implementing an interim training programme that sees future Canadian fighter pilots receive their initial fighter training through the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT) programme at Sheppard AFB (TX), and other Fighter Lead-in Training (FLIT) programmes in Finland and Italy.

At the same time, the RCAF contract with CAE Inc. for training on the CT-155 Hawk, which has served the RCAF for 24 years, is coming to an end. During the interim training programme, 419 squadron will stand down to be reactivated in the future with a new 5th generation trainer aircraft as part of a Future Fighter Lead-in Training programme.

The CT-155 Hawks will move to the Canadian Forces School of Aerospace Technology and Engineering at CFB Borden (Ont.), where they will support the training of RCAF aircraft technicians.

Canada is no stranger to ENJJPT, having been part of the programme since it was founded in 1981. The aim of the programme, at the time, was to provide common training of NATO pilots. The programme, managed by the USAF’s 80th Fighter Training Wing, has seen the RCAF post approximately five pilot instructors at Sheppard AFB, while five to six students train on T-38C Talons as part of their Fighter Lead-in Training before joining 410 Operational Fighter Training Squadron in 4 Wing, Cold Lake and transition to the CF-18.

Canada will now be sending up to seven Canadian students each year to ENJJPT, when the NATO Flying Training in Canada will come to an end. CT-155 Hawk aircraft training at 15 Wing Moose Jaw, Sask. ceased already in Summer 2023 and will now end entirely on 8 March 2024 when 419 squadron will stand down.