Australia Retires F/A-18 Hornet This Week

The Australian Air Force is planning to retire old F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fighters. The first RAAF Hornets to arrive in Australia were flown from the US to Avalon, Victoria in June 1984. The A21-103 model made its first flight the following year.

“It’s the end of a Classic era for our air combat capability. Our F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets are retiring from service this week, as we transition to the fifth-generation F-35A Lightning II,” the service tweeted today.

Chief of the Defense Force General Angus Campbell said the Hornets are retiring after 35 years of service.

Since entering into service with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in 1986, the service has welcomed 75 Classic Hornets, operated by Number 75 Squadron, RAAF Base Tindal, and Number 3 and 77 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown.

Defense Minister Peter Dutton paid tribute to the Classic Hornet program.(ABC Newcastle: Madeline Lewis)

The F/A-18 Classic Hornet has been officially retired after serving the country for nearly 40 years.

In that time the fleet of Hornets completed more than 400,000 flying hours and more than 1,900 missions.

The fleet have been deployed on a number of operations including safeguarding U.S. air base in Diego Garcia from where operations in Afghanistan were launched, and attacking enemy targets in Iraq.

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