Super Hornet flying operations are being assessed through a Public Environment Report process. For information about this process visit the Super Hornet PER website.
The Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet will give Australia an upgraded air combat capability for both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions until the full introduction into service of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF). Twenty-four Super Hornets will replace the F-111s at Nos 1 and 6 Squadrons at RAAF Base Amberley from 2010.
The introduction of Super Hornets minimises the risk of a possible future capability gap if the JSF program were to fall behind schedule. It also allows the F-111s to be retired at a time of our choosing.
The original Hornet was developed for the US Navy and Marine Corps and has been a very successful aircraft, including over 20 years exemplary service with the Royal Australian Air Force. The US Navy took delivery of its first Super Hornet in 1999. Super Hornets are larger than the original models with many detail improvements. Their increased wing area allows them to carry more stores further on their extra hardpoints. They are most easily recognised by their rectangular engine air intakes.
Super Hornets give the Air Force a relatively easy upgrade path, given our experience with Hornet maintenance and two-crew operations with both Hornets and F-111s.
|Engine||Two low-bypass F414-GE-400 turbofans (9,800kg thrust each)|
|Airframe||Length: 18.3m, height: 4.9m|
|Weight||13,387kg basic, 29,900kg maximum take-off weight|
|Speed||Mach 1.6 (1,960km/h)|
|Ceiling||Above 50,000 feet|