The RAAF’s first five of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets are due to arrive at Amberley on Friday March 26 after their trans-Pacific delivery flight.
The jets, A44-202 to -206, are being flown from NAS Lemoore near Fresno in California via Hawaii, Samoa and New Zealand by crews from 1SQN, and are being accompanied by an Omega Air KDC-10 tanker and an RAAF C-17 carrying spares and support personnel.
The Super Hornets, led by 1SQN commanding officer WGCDR Glen Braz, will be escorted into Amberley by a couple of F-111Cs, and welcomed by Defence Minister John Faulkner, Chief of Air Force AIRMSHL Mark Binskin, Boeing Defense, Space & Security president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg, and local dignitaries.
Following their delivery, 1SQN will work up the jets and their crews and is scheduled to delare an initial operating capability (IOC) next year, while 6SQN will retire its final F-111s later this year and start taking its Super Hornets in 2011. Full operational capability (FOC) is expected in late 2012.
Australian Aviation will feature extensive coverage of the delivery flight and a full background on the capability the Super Hornets will bring to the RAAF in our May issue.