The first of two classic F/A-18A Hornets is being transported from RAAF Base Williamtown to be displayed at the Australian War Memorial.
The aircraft has been partially disassembled and will first stop at the Treloar Technology Centre in Canberra to be put back together by Boeing Defence Australia.
An official ceremony is planned for F/A-18A Hornet A21-022’s unveiling in December.
The RAAF Classic Hornet fleet is being progressively retired as 72 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters are introduced into service.
The initial order of 75 Hornets was placed in November 1981. The order consisted of 57 single-seat F/A-18As and 18 two-seat F/A-18Bs. The Hornet provided the Royal Australian Air Force with a giant leap in technology at the time.
Defence Minister Melissa Price called the fighter a “special aircraft” for the RAAF.
“It employed the first Australian weapon on Operation Falconer in 2003, and was also deployed on Operation Okra in 2016-2017,” Minister Price said.
“It is very fitting that it will now spend its next life on permanent display at the Australian War Memorial. This will be a fantastic opportunity for generations of Australians to view and appreciate [an] example of Australian Air Force capability.”
The Australian War Memorial is Australia’s national memorial to the members of its armed forces and supporting organisations who have died or participated in wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia, and a number of conflicts involving personnel from the Australian colonies prior to Federation.
Earlier this year, workers at RAAF Base Williamtown serviced 46 retired F/A-18 Classic Hornet aircraft to be sold to air combat training company Air USA.
The Classic Hornet aircraft will be used to provide training services to the US Air Force and will be prepared over the next three to four years.
Based at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, the F/A-18A/B Hornets have been operated by:
- Number 3 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown;
- Number 75 Squadron, RAAF Base Tindal;
- Number 77 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown; and
- Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Williamtown for pilot training.