October 20th, 2011 By Australian Department of Defence, DEFENCE TALK
Minister for Defence Stephen Smith and Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare today announced that the Royal Australian Air Force will have two complete squadrons of 24 Super Hornet fighter jets by the end of the week.
Four more Super Hornets will arrive at RAAF Base Amberley this Friday, 21 October.
The occasion will be marked by a flight of up to 20 Super Hornets in formation over northern NSW and south east Queensland.
These 24 aircraft have been progressively delivered since the first tranche of Super Hornets arrived at RAAF Base Amberley in March 2010.
The purchase of the Super Hornets will ensure Australia’s regional air combat capability until the arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter.
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.
It is an operationally proven aircraft having been flown by the United States Navy since 2001.
The United States Navy have operated Super Hornets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Australia is the first country outside the United States to fly the Super Hornet.
The arrival of these four aircraft mean that 12 aircraft, half of the total number of aircraft, are wired with the potential to be converted into Growlers in the future. Growlers give the aircraft the ability to jam the electronics systems of enemy aircraft and land-based radars and communications systems.
The aircraft are built by Boeing at its production line in St Louis, Missouri and have been delivered on schedule and under budget.
Mr Smith and Mr Clare thanked Boeing, the US Navy, the RAAF and Defence for their efforts in this important project.
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