The next stage in Air Force’s air combat capability is about to occur. RAAF is planning to transit six more F/A-18F Super Hornets from the United States to RAAF Amberley in early July.
Minister for Defence, Senator John Faulkner, said a detachment of RAAF aircrew and maintenance personnel from No 1 Squadron is currently conducting work-ups with the brand new aircraft at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.
“The detachment is completing comprehensive flight testing which includes up to 96 hours of test and evaluation flying and two weeks of Electronic Warfare flight trials from Lemoore,” Senator Faulkner said.
“Another key task involves working with an air-to-air tanker conducting day and night refuelling flights to ensure we are ready for the flight to Australia.”
“When these jets arrive shortly, close to half of Australia’s twenty four Super Hornets will be based at Amberley, and Defence will be working toward the next milestone of achieving Initial Operating Capability by the end of 2010,” Senator Faulkner said.
The first five Super Hornets were welcomed at RAAF Amberley on 26 March this year. Since then, they have been conducting familiarisation training in Queensland.
The Super Hornet is a highly capable, battle proven, multi-role aircraft that has already proved its effectiveness in service with the US Navy. Its flexibility will enhance Australia’s air combat capability, through maritime and land strike, suppression of enemy air defence, reconnaissance, air-to-air combat and close air support. The F/A-18Fs are a bridging capability through Air Force’s transition to the Joint Strike Fighter.
“The Super Hornet project has been a fine example of team work. Reaching this stage of the project on time and on budget has been due to the great partnership between the Royal Australian Air Force, Defence Materiel Organisation, United States Navy, The Boeing Company and their industry partners, General Electric, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon,” Senator Faulkner said.
Details of the second tranche’s arrival at Amberley will be released closer to the date.
By the end of 2011, all twenty four of Australia’s Super Hornets are scheduled to be in Amberley.
Colin Campbell (John Faulkner): 02 6277 7800 or 0407 787 181
Defence Media 02 6127 1999 or 0408 498 664
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