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Royal Canadian Air Force

Total Aircraft: 385

Active Aircraft Inventory (2020)

FIGHTERS
HELICOPTERS
TRANSPORTS
TRAINERS
SPECIAL MISSION
ON-ORDER
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

50.0

(Ranked 17 of 53)
*See Notes
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.
Inventory Breakdown
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%.


Fighters
Total: 62 (16%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
62
CF-188A/B
Multirole




Helicopters
Total: 123 (32%)
OUTLOOK
POSITIVE
84
CH-146
Utility
15
CH-47F
Transport
14
CH-149
Search and Rescue
10
CH-148
Anti-Submarine Warfare




Transports
Total: 38 (10%)
OUTLOOK
POSITIVE
17
CC-130J
Tactical
8
CC-130H
Tactical
5
CC-177
Tactical/Strategic
3
DHC-6
Utility
2
CC-150
Transport
2
King Air 350
Utility
1
CC-150
VIP




Trainers
Total: 135 (35%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
26
CT-114
Advanced Jet Trainer
23
F/A-18B
Fighter Trainer
22
CT-156
Basic Trainer
18
CT-155
Advanced Jet Trainer
13
G120A
Basic Trainer
9
Bell 412
Helicopter Trainer
13
CH-139
Helicopter Trainer
7
King Air 90
Flight Trainer
4
CT-142
Trainer




Tankers
Total: 6 (2%)
OUTLOOK
STABLE
4
KC-130H
Aerial Refueling
2
CC-150T
Aerial Refueling




Special
Total: 21 (5%)
OUTLOOK
POSITIVE
15
CP-140
Maritime Patrol
6
DHC-5
Search and Rescue




On-Order
Total: 31
16
C-295
Search and Rescue
10
CH-148
Anti-Submarine Warfare
3
King Air 350
Reconnaissance
2
CH-149
Search & Rescue
National Powers (A-to-Z)
53 Countries Ranked; 366 Aircraft Types Tracked; 35,953 Total Aircraft Followed.
Switzerland (167)
#40
Swiss Air Force (167)
United Arab Emirates (UAE) (327)
#27
United Arab Emirates Air Force (327)