One of the RAAF’s new Super Hornets had a demonstration flight this morning over the Amberley base near Ipswich.

Twenty of the fighter jets already at the base will be joined by four more on Friday.

Kate Morrison reports.


The RAAF hopes the $50-million striker planes will create a range of employment opportunites in the local aircraft support industry.

Andrew Davies, Australian Strategic Policy Institute: “Every piece of military equipment we get is, especially as it becomes more sophisticated and more complicated, there’s more requirement for people to work on them to keep them operating at that level of capability.”

The cost of the planes has risen dramatically alongside the increasing price of aerospace technology.

Andrew Davies, Australian Strategic Policy Institute: “The Super Hornet in real terms is about twice as expensive as a classic Hornet and it costs a bit more to run, but it’s one of those things that you get what you pay for. If you want all of the capabilities that a modern combat aircraft has it’s going to cost more than the previous generation simply because they’re more complex.”

These planes are some of 24 bought by the RAAF to replace the old F-111’s.

Experts say they’re more versatile aircraft as well.

Emile Victor, Aerospace Engineering student at UQ: “It’s kind of tiding the RAAF over ’till they can actually buy the Joint Strike Fighter, which is coming we think in 2012, we don’t actually know yet though. It’s far superior to the F-111 because the F-111 was brought into service 38 years ago.”

All 24 Superhornets will show off in the skies above south-east Queensland for the very first, and possibly the last, time on Friday.

Kate Morrison QUT News.