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F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler

F/A-18F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler

Australia currently operates a fleet of 24 F-18 E/F Super Hornet with 12 E/A-18G Growler aircraft, originally acquired to prevent a capability gap between the retirement of the RAAF’s legacy F-18 A/B Hornets and the introduction of the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.

The twin seat F/A-18F Super Hornet is larger than the F/A-18A/B Hornet. The aircraft's increased wing area allows it to carry more stores (mounted devices) on its additional hardpoints, with the aircraft able to undertake a variety of missions, including:

  • Air interception and Air combat;
  • Close air support of ground troops; and
  • Interception of enemy supply lines including shipping.

Based on the F/A-18F Super Hornet design, the Boeing EA-18G Growler has proven itself to be an invaluable asset to the US when deployed overseas and provides Australia with a quantum leap in electronic attack capability.

The Growler incorporates several specialised technologies and modifications that differentiate the Growler from the traditional Super Hornet, including:

  • An additional avionics suite;
  • Enhanced radio frequency receivers;
  • An improved communications suite; and
  • ALQ radio-frequency jamming pods, which enable it to jam enemy systems.

Both the nation’s Super Hornet and Growler fleets are based at RAAF Base Amberley.