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F/A-18F Super Hornet fighters touch down Australia

The Super Hornet fighters of RAAF. An Australian Defence Ministry Photo

AMBERLEY (BNS): The Royal Australian Air Force received its first batch of F/A-18F Super Hornets when five of the fighter aircraft touched down its base here in Queensland on Friday.

The aircraft arrived at 0134 hours local time following a formation flight over Southeast Queensland with some of the F-111s they will replace, the Australian Defence Ministry announced.

Australian defence officials along with officials from the US Navy and Boeing, which has designed and developed the combat aircraft, were present on the occassion.

Pilots and aircrew from the RAAF were in the US state of California last week, readying to fly the Super Hornets home.

The Super Hornets, nick-named ‘Rhinos’, will be operated by Numbers 1 and 6 Squadrons at RAAF Amberley.

With the multi-role fighters' arrival, Australia has received its first new combat aircraft in 25 years.

The new fighters will replace the Air Force's aging fleet of F-111 strike bombers.

The Australian Government had signed a $6 billion contract with the US to acquire 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets. It expects to get half of the fighters by the end of this year and rest 12 by 2011.

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