Australia's new jet fighters parked in Auckland

BY MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 16:44 24/03/2010
Super Hornet jet fighters
PHIL DOYLE/Sunday Star-Times

AUSSIE AIRPOWER: Five Australian Super Hornet F18 jet fighters at Auckland Airport on route to Austrailia from California. Accompanying them is a DC10 tanker, visible in background.

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Australia's newest jet fighters are parked up at Auckland International Airport - leaving little space for anything else.

Five Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18F Super Hornets are parked, along with an American DC10 in-flight refuelling jet and a RAAF Globemaster.

The Super Hornets are the RAAF's first new air combat aircraft in 25 years.

They are due to fly into their home base, RAAF Amberley, on Friday.

The Super Hornets departed US Naval Air Station Lemoore and flew to Hawaii and on to Auckland.

RAAF is planning to mark the Super Hornet arrival with an escort of F-111s, as the new aircraft fly over Brisbane and Gold Coast on approach to Amberley.

The F-111s which have been stalwarts of Australia's air combat fleet will be retired at the end of 2010.

Minister for Defence Senator John Faulkner will formally welcome the new aircraft to Australia during a ceremony at Amberley.

"The Super Hornets represent a major step forward in air combat capability for Australia. Air Force is acquiring 24 multi-role Super Hornets which will provide a bridging capability during the transition to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter," Senator Faulkner said in a statement.

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