Inside the Archive: Classic Hornet

Inside the Archive #2

IN NOVEMBER 1981, the Australian government placed an order for 75 Classic Hornets, consisting of 57 single-seat F/A-18As and 18 two-seat F/A-18Bs. It was, at the time, one of the biggest leaps in technology RAAF had seen. The fleet went on to become a backbone of our Air Force for close to 30 years, and is only now being progressively retired as Australia’s 72 F-35A Joint Strike Fighters begin to be introduced into service.

The Hornet was initially developed for the US Navy and Marine Corps, and has been a very successful aircraft globally, used by countries as diverse as Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland. The remarkably versatile aircraft can undertake air interception, air combat, close air support of ground troops and interception of enemy supply lines, including shipping. Significantly, it’s also capable of air-to-air refuelling from the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport.

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