The Royal Australian Air Force fields the powerful F/A-18F Super Hornet design as well as the older A-series model and will introduce the F-35A in time.
POWER INDEX SCORE
(Ranked 17 of 53)
The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has entered a critical period of its history where modernization is the talk of the day. As the whole, the fleet is an aging one with several exceptions in the rotorcraft category where procurement has extended pver-battlefield viability. Fighter strength (accounting for 16% of all inventory) is made up of the multirole, American-originated F/A-18 'Hornet' which serves Canada under its 'CF-188' designation. Despite their seemingly inherent value, these are earlier A- and B-models acquired during the early-to-mid 1980s and a successor is actively being sought. Initially, this was to become the vaunted Lockheed Martin F-35A 'Lightning II' 5th Generation Strike Fighter however the deal unraveled leading to a new, open fighter competition being pushed through that now also involves the Eurofighter 'Typhoon', Boeing F/A-18E/F 'Super Hornet', and Saab JAS39 'Gripen' as potential candidates - dealing a blow to the Lockheed proposal and Canadian aerospace firms attached to the quantitative purchase. For the interim, a batch of ex-RAAF F/A-18 Hornets have been secured to bolster fighter strength and add much needed spares to the mix. Beyond the additional Hornets, other acquisition programs have included securing the C-295 twin-turboprop transport for the SAR role and additional CH-148 ASW and CH-149 SAR helicopters. Three Super King Air 350 platforms are also on order for the reconnaissance role.
The training arm consists of an aging stock of CT-114 Advanced Jet Trainers which are now reserved for the 'Snowbirds' demonstration team and are expected to be retired in 2020. There is also the twin-seat version of the Hornet for fighter trainer while other training platforms, such as the CH-139 'Jet Ranger' light utility helo, are offered from private companies. The service does keep an aerial refueling tanker fleet which adds a relatively modern capability (and tactical flexibility) to the service.
While certain categories are being addressed, overall outlook for the RCAF is not a strong one. Until the primary fighting platform is secured, there will be a prolonged period of uncertainty for the service that will very well last into the next decade.NOTES: The WDMMA.org Power Index (PwrIndx) score looks at various qualities of an individual air power (or service branch). While total aircraft certainly influences the rating, aircraft variety (force balance) also plays a key role in determining an air service's placement on the list. Other focused qualities include local industry (aerospace-related) capability, future outlook, and current/recent combat experience. All this is worked into a formula which provides an analytical approach to resolving a force's fighting state in the modern world. This approach to fighting strength is highly theoretical and does not take into account a nation's available manpower or resolve in the face of conflict nor does it involve land and naval fighting strength. The top achievable PwrIndx score belongs to the United States Air Force with its rating of 242.9. As of now, UAV systems are not taken into account due to reporting differences between publicly-available sources (these will be integrated as some point). Navy aviation branches do not take into account the fighting capacity of naval ships.
193 Total available aircraft assuming a Below Average Readiness Rate of 50%.
270 Total available aircraft assuming an Average Readiness Rate of 70%.
289 Total available aircraft assuming an Above Average Readiness Rate of 75%.
308 Total available aircraft assuming an Excellent Readiness Rate of 80%.