Canada has formally expressed interest in Australia’s used Boeing F/A-18A/B Hornets, marking a significant development in the Royal Canadian Air Force’s search for a fighter that could temporarily fill the CF-18’s mission.

Last month, Canadian defence minister Harjit Sajjan expressed interest in Australia’s Hornet fleet. On 29 September, Canada submitted a formal declaration known as an expression of interest to Australia. Canada expects a response by the end of 2017 with details on the aircraft’s cost and availability, according to a 9 October release from the Canadian government.

After Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fell out of favor with Liberals and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Canada pursued Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornets as an interim fix. But the government suspended talks with Boeing after the company’s commercial arm accused Canadian manufacturer Bombardier of dumping its CSeries jet onto the US market, prompting a US Department of Commerce investigation to determine if the company received unfair subsidies from the Canadian government.

Those relations aren’t expected to warm up following the Commerce Department's decision to add another 80% tariff last week after it levied a 220% import duty on the CS100.