Australia receives more F/A-18s

Jan. 7, 2011 at 1:35 PM
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AMBERLEY, Australia, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Australia has received four more F/A-18 Super Hornets, giving the Australian air force initial operating capability for its first Super Hornet squadron.

The delivery by Boeing brings the total number of Super Hornets delivered ahead of schedule to Australia to 15.

"Early delivery of our new Super Hornets at (air base) Amberley has been a vital part of our path toward IOC for our first Super Hornet squadron, which we have now achieved ahead of schedule," said Australian air force Group Capt. Steve Roberton, officer commanding 82 Wing, which operates the Super Hornet.

"As we've continued to hit our marks on time -- or early, in many instances -- with the Super Hornet program, we've enabled the RAAF to ensure Australia's regional air superiority as we transition from the F-111 and classic Hornet."

The arrival of the aircraft last month was the third Super Hornet delivery to the base during 2010.

Three aircraft in the latest delivery were prewired for potential conversion to electronic attack capability during production at Boeing facilities in St. Louis. The remaining nine aircraft in the contract will be prewired in the same way before delivery to the Australian air force's No. 6 Squadron.

The Australian government announced in March 2007 that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block II versions of the Super Hornet, all of which are equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array radar.

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