The Australian Air Force is planning to retire old F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet fighters.
“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 Defence 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. The Classic Hornet multi-role fighter fleet has completed more than 400,000 flight hours across thousands of 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.