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First RAAF Super Hornet flight.

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THE HON. GREG COMBET MP Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science

Wednesday, 22 July 2009 025 /2009


Greg Combet, the Minister for Defence Personnel, Materiel and Science, has congratulated the Defence Materiel Organisation (DMO) and Boeing following the first flight of Australia’s F/A-18F Super Hornet in the United States.

Mr Combet said the Super Hornet took off from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis and follows the recent unveiling of the aircraft on July 8 at the company's Integrated Defense Systems facility.

“The first of 24 F/A-18Fs will arrive at RAAF base Amberley in March next year.

“The remaining Super Hornets, each equipped with the Raytheon-built APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, will be progressively delivered to the RAAF throughout the remainder 2010 and 2011,” he said.

Mr Combet said the flight lasted more than an hour and represented an excellent result for the DMO, the Royal Australian Air Force, United States Navy, The Boeing Company and its industry partners General Electric, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon.

“The Government is pleased to see that the Super Hornet project is progressing well and remains on schedule and on budget,” Mr Combet said.

“The F/A-18F Super Hornets will be based at RAAF Amberley and will aid the transition to a mature Joint Strike Fighter capability while allowing the Air Force to retire the F-111 fleet.

“The total program investment is approximately $6 billion over 10 years, which includes acquisition and all support costs including facilities, training and personnel.”

Images of the first flight are available at:

Media contacts: Rod Hilton (Greg Combet): 02 6277 4771 or 0458 276 619 Defence Media Liaison: 02 6265 3343 or 0408 498 664