Boeing Completes Production of First F/A-18F Super Hornet for Royal Australian Air Force
Boeing on Thursday announced that it has completed the production of the first F/A-18F Super Hornet for the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
The Super Hornet has the capability to be converted into an electronic attack aircraft. Bowing is pre-wiring the RAAF’s second lot of 12 Super Hornets for potential electronic attack capability conversion during production at the company’s facilities in St. Louis.
“Incorporating the ability to introduce an electronic attack capability on 12 RAAF Super Hornets as they are produced in St. Louis provides maximum flexibility for our Air Force in the future,” RAAF Group Captain Steve Roberton said.
The addition to an electronic attack capability will further expand the broad capability of the Super Hornet weapon system. Producing the 12 aircrafts with this configuration from the outset will also reduce costs considerable.
In March 2007, the Australian government announced that it would acquire 24 of the advanced Block II versions of the Super Hornet, all of them equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
Currently, eleven Super Hornets are operating at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland. The aircrafts were delivered ahead of schedule and on budget. Boeing will deliver the 24th Super Hornet in 2011.
The F/A-18F Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.