04 Agustus 2011
F/A-18F Super Hornet (photo : Aus DoD)
The Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced the arrival of two new F/A-18F Super Hornets to RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland.
This brings the current Australian fleet to 20 with a further four aircraft to be delivered by the end of the year.
“The Super Hornet is one of the best fighter planes in the world. It has an advanced multi-mode AESA (actively electronically scanned array) radar and ‘low observability’ characteristics that make it significantly better than any fourth generation fighter,” Mr Clare said.
The Super Hornet can carry about one-third more fuel and weapons payload than the F/A-18A or F/A-18B Classic Hornet aircraft, while maintaining the same speed and handling characteristics in combat configurations.
The Super Hornet gives the Royal Australian Air Force the capability to conduct air-to-air combat; strike targets on land and at sea; suppress enemy air defences; and conduct reconnaissance.
The Super Hornet is also an off the shelf proven capability. It has been flown by the US Navy since 2001 and operated in Iraq, Afghanistanand most recently in Libya.
The first 15 Australian Super Hornets became operational in December last year – following the retirement of the iconic F-111.
A further three Super Hornets were delivered to Amberley last month.
The Super Hornet is built by Boeing at its production line in St Louis, Missouri.