ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet (“Rhino“) is a twin-engined two seat multi-role fighter that is a newer more advanced and larger version of what is now known as the “Classic Hornet” the F/A-18A Hornet (Super Hornets carry a much heavier payload and have more sophisticated avionics and radar). The F/A-18F Super Hornet is also known as the “Rhino” to differentiate them from single seat F/A-18E Super Hornets operated by the US Navy.
The first of 24 Super Hornets were handed over to the RAAF in 2009 for pilot and air combat officer training in the USA. As of 2011 all have been delivered and are operated by 2 RAAF squadrons (No.1 and No.6). They were purchased (under somewhat controversial circumstances) to replace the General Dynamics F-111 (a much beloved aircraft that no-one wanted to see go but they were in operation for nearly 40 years!) and act as an interim bridging aircraft until the planned introduction of the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II into service later this decade (the highly advanced Joint Strike Fighter with stealth like capability and advanced avionics – another aircraft surrounded by controversy due to its cost and “unknown” factor).
The first major public display of new RAAF Super Hornets occurred at Avalon in early 2011.
AVALON INTERNATIONAL AIR SHOW 2011