The Boeing F/A-18A/B Classic Hornet is a multi-role fighter aircraft, capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions – an integral part of Australia’s air combat capability.

The RAAF’s 71 Classic Hornets have been at the core of Australia’s frontline defence and have protected a number of high-profile events and targets in Australia and overseas throughout their 36 years of distinguished service.

Boeing has had a long and proud history of supporting the RAAF’s Classic Hornets, including performing the Hornet Upgrade Program, the most significant upgrade to the aircraft since their introduction into service. Delivered in multiple stages by Boeing Defence Australia, the fleet’s capability was significantly enhanced, allowing it to maintain regional air and ground superiority through improved lethality, survivability and interoperability with allied air forces.

In August 2017, Boeing’s original 2010 maintenance contract, under which Boeing Defence Australia delivers logistics, engineering and maintenance services, was extended until the fleet’s retirement.

And in July 2020, BDA celebrated the 163rd and final deeper maintenance servicing for the Classic Hornet fleet since 2013.

The RAAF’s Hornets will be retired from service by 31 December 2021 as the Australian Defence Force transitions to the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter.

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