Five new Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets have arrived at Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) Base Amberley, expanding the RAAF’s fleet of the advanced multirole fighters to 20. Three aircraft landed at the base on the 14th July and were joined by two additional Super Hornets on earlier this week on the 3rd August.
“As each new Super Hornet arrives at Amberley, the overall capability of our air force continues to expand,” said RAAF Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Officer Commanding 82 Wing.
“The Super Hornet is going to be a true force multiplier for us, with its ability to seamlessly transmit data offboard from its advanced sensors to our classic Hornets. We are extremely excited about the new capabilities the Rhinos are bringing to the fleet.”
The RAAF is acquiring 24 Super Hornets under the current delivery contract. Twelve of the aircraft — including the five delivered in July and this month — are prewired during production at Boeing facilities in St. Louis for potential conversion to electronic attack capability.
“The Boeing Super Hornet team is working closely with the U.S. Navy and the RAAF to ensure that all the RAAF Super Hornets arrive in Australia ahead of schedule and on budget,” said Carolyn Nichols, Australian Super Hornet program manager for Boeing.
“Boeing understands that the men and women of the RAAF rely on the advanced capability of the Super Hornet, and we are honored to deliver these aircraft, as promised.”
Every Super Hornet produced for the U.S. Navy and the RAAF has been delivered ahead of schedule and on budget.
The Australian government announced in March 2007 that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block II versions of the Super Hornet, all of which are equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.