F/A-18F Super Hornet

Air Force has 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets, which ensure that Australia's air combat capability edge is maintained until the full introduction of the F-35A Lightning II.

The F/A-18F Super Hornets are based at Number 1 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley.

After achieving Final Operational Capability in December 2012, they have participated in a range of exercises and operations, including:

  • Exercise Pitch Black in the Northern Territory;
  • Exercise Bersama Shield on the Malaysian Peninsula; and
  • Operation OKRA in the Middle East.

About the Aircraft

The F/A-18F Super Hornet is larger than the F/A-18A/B Hornet. The aircraft's increased wing area allows it to carry more stores (mounted devices) on its additional hardpoints.

The twin seat F/A-18F Super Hornet can undertake:

  • air interception;
  • air combat;
  • close air support of ground troops; and
  • interception of enemy supply lines including shipping.

For more information about aircraft noise related to the F/A-18F Super Hornets, visit Defence Aircraft Noise.


Manufacturer Boeing
Role Multi-role fighter
Crew Pilot, Air Combat Officer
Engine Two F414-GE-400 turbofans (9,800 kg thrust each)
Airframe Length: 18.3 m, height: 4.9 m
Wingspan 13.6 m
Weight 13,387 kg basic, 29,900 kg maximum take-off weight
Speed 1,960 km/h (Mach 1.6)
Range 2,700 km
Ceiling 50,000 feet
  • Mission computers
  • Heads-up Displays
  • Radar and Infrared Sensing and Targeting Systems
  • Electronic Warfare and Infra-Red Self Protection Systems
  • AIM-120 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM)
  • AIM-9X "Sidewinder" Short Range Air-to-Air Missile
  • Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) and Laser JDAM
  • Conventional and Laser-Guided Bombs
  • AGM-154 Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW)
  • AGM-84 Harpoon Anti-Ship Missile
  • M61 Nose-Mounted 20mm Cannon