434 Operational Test and Evaluation Squadron

434 Operational Test and Evaluation (OT&E) Squadron ensures the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) has the operational capability to address air power challenges of today and the future through the execution of prioritized, command-driven test and evaluation.

434 OT&E Squadron manages and coordinates the RCAF’s operational test and evaluation activities. Individual test and evaluation flights (TEFs) test, evaluate and investigate new technologies, procedures and tactics to ensure the RCAF remains prepared for future operations. The squadron’s headquarters is located at 8 Wing, where the executive commanding officer, deputy commanding officer and project control officer—as well as the project coordinators for each TEF—can be found.

The squadron comprises the following TEFs:

  • Aerospace Test and Evaluation Flight (AEROTEF) is collocated with 434 OT&E Squadron headquarters in 8 Wing Trenton and deals with ground-based aeronautical systems such as radars, navigational aids, meteorological systems and data links.
  • Fighter Operational Test and Evaluation Flight (FOTEF) at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, works with fighter aircraft.
  • Maritime Helicopter Test and Evaluation Flight (MHTEF) at 12 Wing Shearwater, Nova Scotia, is responsible for the operationalization of the CH‑148 Cyclone maritime helicopter.
  • Land Aviation Test and Evaluation Flight (LATEF) at Saint-Hubert, Quebec, deals with tactical aviation helicopters such as the CH‑147 Chinooks and CH‑146 Griffons.
  • Long Range Patrol Operational Test and Evaluation Flight (LRPTEF) at 14 Wing Greenwood, Nova Scotia, is primarily focused on the CP‑140 Aurora.
  • Search and Rescue Test and Evaluation Flight (SARTEF) at 19 Wing Comox, British Columbia, is responsible for the CC‑295 Kingfisher, CH‑149 Cormorant, CC‑130H Hercules and CH‑146 Griffon search-and-rescue fleets.
  • Special Operations Forces Test and Evaluation Flight (SOFTEF) at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, deals with special operations forces air assets.
  • Transport Operational Test and Evaluation Flight (TOTEF) at 8 Wing Trenton, Ontario, deals with all air mobility fleets, such as the CC‑130J Hercules, CC‑177 Globemaster III and CC‑150 Polaris.

Note that, while not an integral element of 434 OT&E Squadron, Air Test and Evaluation Coordination (ATEC) coordinates all air T&E prioritization and taskings. ATEC also manages the Air Test and Evaluation Master Plan (ATEMP).


The complete squadron history is available on the National Defence, Directorate of History and Heritage website.

Contact information

434 Operation Test and Evaluation Squadron
8 Wing / CFB Trenton
PO Box 1000 Station Forces
Astra ON  K0K 3W0

Phone (RAWC operations): 613‑392‑2811 extension 4434

Email: 434Sqn@forces.gc.ca

Squadron badge

(We conquer in the heights)

Significance: The squadron was adopted by the Rotary Club of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and took the nickname "Bluenose" in reference to the common nickname for Nova Scotians. The schooner Bluenose is well known for its fine record.