US Air Force F-22 Raptors have commenced training with Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) F/A-18 ‘classic’ Hornets, marking the start of the first enhanced air cooperation activity in Australia.
Twelve F-22s from the 90th Fighter Squadron are visiting RAAF Base Tindal to train with Hornets from 75 Squadron, along with ground assets and personnel.
During the visit, the Raptors are being supported by two KC-135 Stratotankers based at RAAF Base Darwin.
“Combined training activity will vastly enhance the Royal Australian Air Force’s ability to integrate with the United States Air Force’s fifth-generation aircraft while introducing fifth-generation operations to RAAF Base Tindal,” said Wing Commander Andrew Tatnell, commanding officer of 17 Squadron (the former 322 Expeditionary Combat Support Squadron).
“The training is also important to the Royal Australian Air Force as the latest generation of aircraft and technology, including EA-18G Growler and F-35A Lightning II, come into service in the coming years.”
The Raptors and Hornets will conduct defensive counter air missions, and offensive counter air scenarios near Delamere Air Weapons Range, among other locations, and will also conduct short missions to RAAF Base Townsville.
In addition, up to four F-22s will take part in the Australian International Airshow and will be on public display from March 3 to 5.