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Super Hornet, Growler fleets grounded

Defence has been forced to cease operations for both the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleets, following an incident at RAAF Base Amberley.

Defence has been forced to cease operations for both the F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleets, following an incident at RAAF Base Amberley.

Defence has confirmed that an F/A-18F Super Hornet was involved in a take-off incident at RAAF Base Amberley on 8 December, forcing aircrew to eject.


The aircrew were unharmed, with Defence also confirming that no other personnel were involved.

Defence has opened an investigation into the cause of the incident, which remains unknown at this stage.

As a precaution, the RAAF has ceased operations for both the Boeing-built F/A-18F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleets until the cause of the issue is identified and resolved.

“The resumption of operations will be guided by information provided by the Safety Investigation team,” a spokesperson told Defence Connect.

Updates are expected to be provided as the investigation progresses.


International partners and other users of the aircraft have been contacted by Defence and notified of the incident.

Defence noted that the F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet and F-35A Joint Strike Fighter fleets were not affected and will remain operational.

The incident at RAAF Base Amberley comes just days after Defence confirmed that it suspended use of the Thales-built Hawkei PMV.

The Hawkei was involved in an unspecified safety incident at the Puckapunyal Military Area, Victoria.

According to Defence, there were no injuries sustained as a result of the incident.

No details have been provided regarding the expected duration of the investigation.

[Related: Hawkei use ‘suspended’ following ‘safety incident’]

Charbel Kadib

Charbel Kadib

News Editor – Defence and Security, Momentum Media

Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.

Super Hornet, Growler fleets grounded
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