F/A-18F Block II Aircraft Headed Down Under
Boeing Thursday unveiled the first of 24 F/A-18F Block II
Super Hornets for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) during a
ceremony at Boeing Integrated Defense Systems' production
facilities in St. Louis. The aircraft will be delivered later this
month, three months ahead of schedule.
"The Super Hornet is on its way to delivering advanced combat
capabilities to the Royal Australian Air Force," said Bob Gower,
Boeing vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs. "Cooperation
and great teamwork on the part of Australia's Defence Materiel
Organisation, the Royal Australian Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the
Hornet Industry Team have enabled the first RAAF Super Hornet to be
delivered within budget and ahead of schedule."
The remaining 23 Super Hornets, each equipped with the
Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA)
radar, will be delivered to the RAAF throughout 2010 and 2011.
"The RAAF Super Hornet will bring a new generation of air power
to Australia," said Group Capt. Steve Roberton, Head Air Combat
Transition Office, RAAF. "Its advanced, networked weapons system
will deliver enhanced air combat capability across the spectrum of
air-to-air, strategic land attack and maritime strike, which is so
important for Australia. It is a true multirole aircraft and
there's a lot of excitement on the ground in the Air Combat Group
about its arrival."
The Australian government announced in March 2007 that it would
acquire 24 of the F/A-18F multirole fighters, making that country
the first international Super Hornet customer.
"The rollout of the first RAAF Block II Super Hornet is an
important and exciting milestone for all of the Australian and U.S.
team members, who have accomplished a great deal of significant
work to make this event possible," said U.S. Navy Capt. Mark
Darrah, F/A-18 and EA-18 program manager, PMA-265. "Our long and
successful relationship has been mutually beneficial during the
RAAF classic Hornet program, and taking this next logical step with
the acquisition of the Super Hornet is a win-win for both nations.
The Super Hornet's inherent tactical capabilities and ability to
force multiply speak for themselves."
The Block II F/A-18E/F 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. Boeing has delivered more than 395 F/A-18E/Fs
to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on
or ahead of schedule.