The Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A and F/A-18B Hornets are multi-role fighter aircraft, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
Both the single seat F/A-18A and twin seat F/A-18B can undertake air interception, air combat, close air support of ground troops, and interdiction of enemy supply lines including shipping.
Based at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, the 71 F/A-18A/B Hornets are an integral part of Australia’s air combat capability. The fleet has undergone a major avionics upgrade to ensure effective operations for the next 10 years.
In the last two years, the F/A-18A/Bs have participated in a range of exercises including Exercise Bersama Lima and Exercise Bersama Shield in Malaysia, Exercise Red Flag in Alaska and Exercise Pitch Black in the Northern Territory.
The F/A-18A/B Hornet is operated by:
Number 3 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown
Number 75 Squadron, RAAF Base Tindal
Number 77 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown
Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Williamtown for pilot training.
The Hornet is capable of air-to-air refuelling from the KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport.
Air Force’s 71 F/A-18A/B Hornets will be replaced with 72 fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II aircraft from 2018.
The Hornet was developed for the US Navy and Marine Corps and has been a very successful aircraft. It is also used by Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.