Canberra - Foreign Operators

(Photo : Unknown)

Argentina ordered 10 Canberra B.62s and two T.64s for the Fuerza Aerea Argentina. Deliveries made in 1970-1971. Two Canberras were lost in combat during the Falklands war.

For more information about Argentinian Canberras see here.


(Photo : Richard Hitchins)

Australia were granted a licence to build Canberras with their version being the B Mk 20 with serials of A84-xxx. These had improved navigation equipment and integral wing tanks. WD939 and WD 983 were transferred for training. The first home-build, A84-201, first flew at Avalon on 29 May 1953. The initial 27 were powered by Avon 101s, remaining 21 (A84227-248) had Avon 109s. Seven Mk 21s, T.4 equivalent, were build under licence between June 1958 and October 1959.

The Australian Canberras joined the RAAF's 2 Sqn and operated to good effect in Vietnam from April 1969 to June 1971.

A84-225 preserved at the Queensland Air Museum.
For more about the Australian Canberras see here.

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Three ex-RAF PR.9s delivered to the Fuerza Aerea de Chile in October 1982. These were XH166, XH167 and XH173). Popularly believed to be 'part payment' by the UK for Chilean assistance during the Falklands war.

For information about the two surviving PR.9s, see 341, and 343.


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Six new-build B.6s were ordered in May 1954 for use by Fuerza Aerea Ecuatoriana. The aircraft numbers were BE-801 to BE-806. All were phased out of service by 1981.


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Four refurbished ex-RAF B.2s delivered in 1968 for the Ethiopian Air Force. Aircraft serials were 351 to 354.


(Photo : Laurent Boulestin)

Four B.6s and two B(I)6s ordered by Armiee de l'Air in 1954. Used for trials work, the first three aircraft were diverted from RAF orders, F763 (ex-WJ763), F779 (ex-RAF WJ779) and F784 (ex-RAF WJ784). The remainder were new-build airframes, F304, F316 and F318.

Picture shows preserved F763 in 2004 at MAE Dugny.


(Photo : Nick Challoner)

In 1961 three ex-RAF Canberras were purchased by Germany for trials use flying with Erprobungstelle 61 The Canberras numbered 99+36 (WK130), 99+34 (WK137) and 99+35 (WK138).

For more information about 99+325 see here.


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India was by far the largest foreign user of the Canberra, first ordering the type in 1957. In all, the Indian Air Force had 72 B(I)58s, 10 PR.57s, 8 T.4s, 10 B(I)6s, two PR.67s and six TT.18/418s. Additionally, India purchased eight B(I)12s and two T.13s from the Royal New Zealand Air Force.

The Indian Air Force Canberras saw action during the UN campaign in the Congo in 1961 and later in the Indo-Pakistan wars of 1965 to 1971.


New Zealand
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New Zealand ordered nine Canberra B(I)12s in February 1958. The B(I)12 was was B(I)8 but with autopilot and a changed navigation specification. The first aircraft, WT329 (for the RAF), was transferred to the RZAF as NZ6101, the remainder were numbered NZ6102 to NZ6111 (NZ6110 shown here in pre-camo scheme). Two Canberra T.13s were also bought, NZ6151 and NZ6152, delivered in 1962. Both were later sold to India. The B(I)12s equipped RNZAF's 14 Sqn from October 1959 to July 1970. All Canberras were later sold to India.

For more information about the RNZAF Canberras see here.


(Photo : Chris Lofting)

Eight B(I)8s ordered in November 1955 for the Fuerza Aerea Peruana, serials 474-482. First deliveries made in May 1958. Six refurbished ex-RAF B.2s (serials 231-238) delivered in 1966 as B.72s, plus two T.4s (serials 231-232).

Repeat contracts were placed between 1968 and 1973 for three B.56s, three B(I)58s, one T.4 and 13 B(I)68s. also purchased five B(I)12s from South Africa in 1991.


(Photo : Unknown)

In 1957 the Royal Rhodesian Air Force ordered 15 B.2s and three T.4s. These were delivered two years later. Initially serialled RRAF159 to 176 but following UDI (11 November 1965) they received four-digit numbers with R prefix.

Eight B.2s and three T.4s survived to fly with the Air Force of Zimbabwe. One B.2 and one T.4 supplied in March 1981.


South Africa
(Photo : Dave West)

Six B(I)12s ordered for the SAAF in 1961and three T.4s in 1963, for service with 12 Sqn. Deliveries completed in 1964 - which included the last production Canberra. The SAAF used their Canberras operationally in Namibia and Angola. Five surviving Canberras (B(I)12s) sold to Peru in 1991.

Picture shows 457 at Swartkop in T.4 form after conversion from B.2.


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To enhance its ELInt capability Sweden purchased two ex-RAF B.2 Canberras which were delivered in 1960. The aircraft were WH711 (which became 52001), and WH905 (which became 52002).

The Canberras were designated Tp.52 and flew with Flygvapnet's F6 Wing at Barkaby. They could be fitted with a series of interchangable nose radomes containing different type special equipment. Both aircraft were retired in 1973. For more information see here.


United States
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Following a demonstration in February 1951, the Canbera was built under licence in the US by the Glen L Martin Company. Designated B-57, 403 were produced for the USAF. Initially the B-57A had a bubble cockpit like the UK's B.2 but the definitive US version was soon produced with a tandem, opening, fighter style cockpit, a revolving bomb-bay and wing mounted cannon.

Used extensively in Vietnam, variants included RB-57A, EB-57A, B-57B, EB-57B, B-57C, D and E, and the B-57F and G.


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In 1953 Fuerza Aerea Venezolona initially ordered six B.2s fulfiled by ex-RAF aircraft. These were WH708 (1A-39); WH709 (2A-39); WH721 (3A-39); WH722 (1B-39); WH736 (2B-39); WH737 (3B-39).

A follow-on contract in 1957 for eight B(I)8s and two T.4s was later updated to B(I)88s and T.84s. In 1965 12 B.2s and two PR.3s were ordered, later updated to B(I)82s, B.82s and PR.83s. (B(I)88 shown here). 1990 saw the withdrawal of type from Grupo Aero de Bombardo 13.

For more information about Venezuelan Canberras see here.


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