Military Aviation

Air USA air combat training company to buy up to 46 former RAAF F/A-18A/B Strike Fighters

The F/A-18A/B Hornet aircraft will be used to provide training services to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and will be prepared over the next three to four years.

Australia has agreed to sell up to 46 of its F/A-18A/B strike fighters to Air USA, an air combat training company in the U.S.

According to the Australian Government DoD news release in fact, workers at RAAF Base Williamtown will service and prepare up to 46 retired F/A-18 Classic Hornet aircraft that will be sold to air combat training company Air USA.

The Classic Hornet aircraft will be used to provide training services to the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and will be prepared over the next three to four years.

Minister for Defence Industry, the Hon Melissa Price MP, said the work will provide employment certainty for workers in the NSW Hunter region.

“The work to prepare these aircraft and components for sale will provide 24 direct industry jobs while Air Force transitions from the Classic Hornet to the F‑35 Joint Strike Fighter,” Minister Price said.

“This highlights the strong performance of the region’s defence industry in servicing and maintaining the Classic Hornets over the past 30 years.”  

“Apart from the jobs directly supported by the work at RAAF Base Williamtown, more defence industry jobs are expected to be created across Australia through repair and overhaul work on aircraft servicing components.”

Australian Hornets are based at RAAF Base Williamtown and RAAF Base Tindal, the 71 F/A-18A/Bs are operated by:

Number 75 Squadron, RAAF Base Tindal;

Number 77 Squadron, RAAF Base Williamtown; and

Number 2 Operational Conversion Unit, RAAF Base Williamtown for pilot training.

Although the fleet has undergone a major electronic upgrade to ensure effective operations, the RAAF Classic Hornet fleet is being progressively retired as the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter is introduced into service. The Morrison Government has now taken delivery of 20 Joint Strike Fighters, out of a total order of 72.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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