Six Canadian CF-18 Hornet jets are deploying to Eastern Europe in response to Ukraine crisis

As part of Canada’s commitment to the NATO, the government of PM Harper decided to dispatch six Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet jets to Eastern Europe.

On Apr. 29, six RCAF Hornets belonging to the 425th Tactical Fighter Squadron have left Canadian Forces Base Bagotville in Quebec to join their NATO counter parts that have increased their presence around Ukraine.

The flight, supported by a Polaris tanker and an Aurora patrol aircraft have made a stopover in Keflavik, Iceland, on their way to Romania.

The purpose of their mission is “to conduct training activities in support of immediate reassurance measures.”

The Canadian CF-18s are multirole aircraft that have been extensively used during the Libya Air War in 2011, when they operated from Trapani airbase, in Italy.

H/T to Winston for the heads-up. Image credit: RCAF


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Sorry for being negative but, what are 6 planes plus maybe 12-20 other aircraft going to do against the Russians if they invade. It’s not like the other times where there have been fighting poorly trained rebels and Pro-Gaddafi forces, but they where no real threat compared to might of the assets deployed there. The Russians are highly trained and are on par with the US and NATO on Hi-Tech Gear and Equipment recently, what’s six planes gonna do to them. Just wondering.

    • No apologies for being negative, you raise a good concern. This is geopolitics. You are thinking to much like it is going to be all out war, and it is not right now. Moving these pieces around is to give the eastern NATO countries a sense of peace that the other NATO countries are behind them, this is not strategic.

      Also remember, Russia still has issues with logistics, though GLOSNASS is helping to remedy that. Pair the logistical issues to their weak air power (see Georgia conflict) and you have a huge vulnerability still.

    • Tripwire force. Forces the Russians to deal with the fact that if they invade, they will likely cause NATO casualties, which could lead to a wider war.

    • They serve the same purpose that 8th army does in South Korea — not nearly enough to stop an invasion but enough of a force to be a trip wire for response. i.e. a real invasion would inflict enough casualties that NATO would be forced to respond.

      Incidentally, this was also one of the reasons that Russia was so adamantly against placing BMD in Poland.

    • The strongest part? The roundels on their wings.
      Will Ivan have the guts to shoot on US, Canadian, French, British, Polish, Germans… that’s called dissuasion and that is the first reason of existence of NATO, exactly as Nuclear forces.
      If the government is mentally sane, they don’t build military alliances or nuclear arsenals to actually enter into an actual war, but to make others think trice before firing upon you.
      Still after 60 years, no one had the guts to fire upon NATO forces over NATO held territory.
      The AMRAAM’s, Sidewinders and Air to Ground munitions are just a nice side effect.

    • The important thing is that you move infrastructure, i.e. the ability to operate from polish and baltic airfields. Flying in more planes is something you can do quite quickly. Also, the paratroopers deployed are for protecting the airfields, securing that reinforcements can arrive. This is of much bigger concern for Russia than it pretends.

    • To be honest I never did understand the tripwire effect until I read your replies.
      I never really thought about it like you have explained, like Rob’s and Zigenar’n’s explanation.

  2. Hmmm……we must be sending Jedi Knights! No really our flyboys are the very best this world has to offer…..nuff said!

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