The Classic Hornet fleet originally consisted of 57 F/A-18A (single seat) and 18 F/A-18B (dual seat) aircraft. Four aircraft were lost through flying accidents (between 1987 and 1992) reducing the fleet to 71 aircraft. The Planned Withdrawal Date of the Classic Hornet fleet is December 2021. Progressive withdrawal and disposal of the fleet commenced during 2018 in line with the progressive introduction of the F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter. As at 01 December 2020, 39 aircraft have been retired from service leaving a residual active fleet of 32 aircraft. A further 16 aircraft will be retired over the December 2020/January 2021 period with the remaining 16 aircraft to be operated by Number 75 Squadron (RAAF Base Tindal, Northern Territory) during 2021.
The Classic Hornet fleet and associated training systems is supported by the Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office at RAAF Base Williamtown. TFSPO is supported through multiple CASG organisations, Air Force workshops and contracted industry partners.
During 2021, the focus will be to supporting the residual fleet to its Planned Withdrawal Date (PWD) of December 2021 while continuing the progressive of sustainment arrangements and supporting the disposal of aircraft and inventory.
Content is current as at December 2020.