A military spokesman says a pilot is dead after a Canadian CF-18 fighter jet crashed in western Canada.

Canadian Forces spokesman Daniel Le Bouthillier confirmed that the pilot died in Monday's crash.

He says the plane was based out of Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, the busiest fighter base in Canada. It provides fighter training for all Canadian Forces pilots.

A helicopter from the base had been dispatched to the crash site.

The Canadian government announced last week that it would look to buy 18 Super Hornet jet fighters from Boeing to replace Canada's aging fleet of CF-18s. Canada is also holding an open competition to buy dozens more planes over the next five years. Canada remains part of Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.