Hornets scream across the sky
IPSWICH was treated to a spectacular Super Hornet show when the last four of the F/A-18Fs arrived.
Thousands of people from Ipswich, Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast watched as 20 Super Hornets flew in formation to celebrate the new jets.
Sixteen Super Hornets left RAAF Base Amberley about 10am before zooming off across south-east Queensland.
After joining with the four new Super Hornets off the coast of the Sunshine Coast, the 20 jets flew in formation over Ipswich and back to base about 11.30am.
The awesome sight and sound of such a large formation is one Defence officials say is unlikely to ever be repeated.
And the aerial action was not over with that flypast, with one jet taking to the sky for a stunning solo display.
One of the Super Hornets was flown by Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown.
The four new fighter jets will join 20 others, which will be operated by No 1 Squadron and No 6 Squadron of the RAAF.
On arrival, they were welcomed with an official ceremony which included Minister for Defence Materiel Jason Clare. Mr Clare said this was an important day for the RAAF.
"The Super Hornets are the new frontline of Australia's Defence Force," Mr Clare said.
"They are amongst the best fighter planes in the world - and all 24 aircraft have been delivered on budget and ahead of schedule."
Member for Blair Shayne Neumann said the local community also welcomed the Super Hornets.
"RAAF Amberley is a very important part of our community and we're very proud to be the home of the Super Hornet," Mr Neumann said.
The Super Hornets replaced the iconic F-111s and will act as a stopgap before the arrival of the Joint Strike Fighter later this decade. The Super Hornet gives the Royal Australian Air Force the capability to conduct air-to-air combat, strike targets on land and at sea, suppress enemy air defences and conduct reconnaissance.
The United States Navy has operated Super Hornets in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.