Vanguard Magazine

Feb/Mar 2013

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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N Next-Gen Fighter Replacing the CF-18 What does the home game require? As the chief test pilot for Boeing F/A-18 programs, Ricardo Traven has a bias for the Super Hornet. But as someone who has flown both the NATO and NORAD missions of the Royal Canadian Air Force, he has a distinct vantage point on Canada's acquisition of its next generation of fighter aircraft. Following an RCAF career that began in 416 Squadron flying the very first CF-18s and took him on NORAD operations over the Arctic and NATO missions in Europe – as well as a brief stint following in the footsteps of astronaut Chris Hatfield as Canadian exchange officer flying flight tests on the F/A-18 Hornets with the U.S. Navy in Patuxent River, Maryland – Traven landed a job as one of the first test pilots on the then McDonnell Douglas Super Hornet program. He has more than 3000 hours in all models of the F/A18 family including the first flight in the EA-18G model and 1000 hours of Super Hornet experience. 18 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2013 Q The Canadian Forces often refers to the "home game" as being a "no fail mission." That mission includes continental defence and obligations under NORAD. Based on your experience, particularly on NORAD operations, are there specific aircraft requirements to meet that mission? I have not seen specifics of what Canada has defined as NORAD requirements, but as a test pilot and someone who has flown the mission, I have some strong considerations. The NORAD missions require operations off relatively small, remote, co-use airfields in the North that may not be regularly cleared or kept pristine like a fully operational air force base, and that translates into some particular airframe requirements. I'd want an airplane that can handle operations on less than desirable surfaces like snow, slush and

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