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Australia's Super Hornets complete first major upgrade

By Ryan Maass
The upgrades coincide with the U.S. Navy's Super Hornet modernization program. Photo by Peter Bailey/Wikimedia Commons
The upgrades coincide with the U.S. Navy's Super Hornet modernization program. Photo by Peter Bailey/Wikimedia Commons

BRISBANE, Australia, Nov. 15 (UPI) -- The Royal Australian Air Force has completed the first major upgrade for its fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornets.

The upgrade coincides with the U.S. Navy's Super Hornet modernization program, and was performed by a collaborative Electronic Attack Enterprise team. The collaboration was comprised of Boeing Defense Australia, Raytheon Australia, Defence Capability Acquisition and Sustainment Group, and Australian air force personnel.

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Upgrades included the installation of updated navigation and GPS technologies, a distributed targeting system, and an upgraded solid state recorder for the cockpit.

"The completion of Increment 1 was essentially a coming-of-age for the Super Hornet support system," program official Jason Agius said in a press release. "It was the first time we brought together every element of the support system, from program management, logistics and engineering through to training and deeper maintenance."

The recent work marked the first stage of the Super Hornet Spiral Upgrade Program, which aims to produce incremental upgrades for the aircraft. The first phase was completed after 12 months of work.

The F/A Super Hornet is a twin-engine multi-role fighter jet capable of deploying from an aircraft carrier. In combat, the jet is designed to use both air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles. The U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force are the primary operators of the aircraft.

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