Happy Sunday, FighterSweep Fans! Like many of you, I built a lot of model airplanes as a kid, and while I may have left that hobby behind decades ago, the interest in how things go together remains. Thanks to Boeing, we have the opportunity to see the construction of the very first Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornet from start to finish. If you’ve never seen something like this, it’s pretty darn cool.
The build of the RAAF’s first jet was completed in 2009, with its maiden flight coming on 21 July of that year. By December of 2010, the first squadron of Australian Super Hornets was declared operational at RAAF Base Amberley, located in Queensland. The initial purchase of Block II Super Hornets–which feature APG-79 Automatic Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, Link 16, and other goodies–by the Royal Australian Air Force was a total of twenty-four aircraft, fielded by No. 1 Squadron and No. 6 Squadron.
To follow that on, in May of 2013, the RAAF purchased 12 EA-18G Growlers, bringing the total number of Super Hornet variants to be in service Down Under to 36.
On 24 September of 2014, eight Australian Super Hornets–along with a tanker, an E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control platform, and several hundred personnel deployed to the Middle East to support Operation Inherent Resolve. The first combat employment for the Australian F/A-18F came a little over two weeks later, when the aircraft dropped live ordnance on a Daesh target in northern Iraq.
So while it may take several months to completely build an Australian Super Hornet from the ground up, your journey will be just under four minutes. We can only hope you’ll find it as fascinating and enlightening as we did!
(Photo courtesy of Defense Industry Daily)