Amberley’s Rhinos fly out for a super exercise in Townsville

RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft from 6 Squadron at RAAF Base Amberley have headed north to conduct Exercise Rhino Strike at RAAF Base Townsville.

Super Hornet aircraft and personnel from 6 Squadron started the exercise yesterday and will continue June 27.

During the exercise, Number 6 Squadron will also be supporting Army with some night flying activity.

The F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft are scheduled to transit back to RAAF Base Amberley on Sunday June 28 about 10am.

The F/A-18F Super Hornet, or Rhino as it's known, is a true multi-role aircraft that spans the air combat spectrum, including air superiority, maritime and land strike which is vital for Australia.

The Rhinos were meant to assure Australia's regional air combat capability edge during the transition from the F-111 through to the introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter and withdrawal of the classic Hornet.

In US service, the Super Hornet was called the Rhino to distinguish it from older Hornets and that is what it is also termed in Australian service.

Meanwhile, this month marks the anniversary of the arrival of the first on the F-111s - or Pigs - to RAAF Base Amberley from the US nearly 10 years ago.

The first six F-111Cs arrived at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland on June 1 1973 after 24 of these aircraft were ordered by the Australian Government to replace the ageing Canberra bombers.

When the decision was made in October 1963 to buy the aircraft with its controversial swing-wing design, deliveries were expected to start by the second half of 1967.

When they finally arrived, the RAAF had what has been widely regarded as one of the world's outstanding strike aircraft.

The much-loved F-111 was taken out of service in December 2010 but it will remain fondly in the hearts of many aircraft aficionados.

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