08 Desember 2010
Two of the latest F/A-18F Super Hornets to be delivered from the United States taxi down the runway at RAAF Base Amberley. (photo : Australian DoD)
Air Force’s F/A-18F Super Hornets have reached initial operational capability on time and on budget. The latest tranche of four Super Hornets has arrived at RAAF Base Amberley from the United States.
The delivery of these aircraft has allowed declaration of initial operating capability. This is another major milestone for this very successful acquisition project. Initial operational capability has involved establishing a squadron of twelve aircraft with supporting training and maintenance systems.
Air Force’s Number 1 Squadron is the first to operate Australian Super Hornets. Importantly this tranche of aircraft included Australia’s first three Super Hornets to be pre-wired for Growler electronic attack capability. The last twelve of RAAF’s Super Hornets are being pre-wired.
This tranche included the first aircraft to be operated by Number 6 Squadron, which last week retired its fleet of F-111s. The aircraft departed from the Boeing facility in St. Louis USA, and over a number of days transited to RAAF Base Amberley via Travis Air Force Base California, Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii and Guam. This is the first United States Navy-led ferry of aircraft with support by Boeing.
This arrangement is an example of the close and co-operative relationship shared by the Royal Australian Air Force, the Defence Materiel Organisation, the United States Navy, the United States Air Force, and The Boeing Company. The remainder of Air Force’s fleet of twenty four F/A-18F Super Hornets will be delivered by the end of 2011.