This week, the Royal Australian Air Force’s Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit conducted its final F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet flight under the Unit’s banner.
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The mission represented a key milestone in the phased draw down of 2OCU Classic Hornet operations – which ceased in Dec 2019.
With this historic flight closing a significant chapter in Air Force history – the future of fast-jet aircrew training at 2OCU is firmly established, with the training focus honed on supporting fifth-generation capabilities with the arrival and operational sustainment of the F-35A.
The RAAF F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet platform is planned to be withdrawn from service in December 2021; and is being replaced by the F-35A Lighting II.
The Hornet was developed for the US Navy and Marine Corps, and has been a very successful aircraft. It is also used by Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.
The F/A-18A and F/A-18B Hornets can undertake:
- air interception;
- air combat;
- close air support of ground troops; and
- interception of enemy supply lines including shipping.