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Air Chief Marshal Mark (Binny) Binskin AC : Reflections
Reflections of AVM Glen Braz. AM CSC DSM. Air Commander Australia 2023:
Reflections of Air Marshal Ray Funnell AC. Chief of Air Staff 1987 -92
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20 Jan 2024

The Classic: F/A-18A/B Hornet Aircraft in Australian Service

Selected in 1981 as the aircraft that would replace the Mirage IIIO as Australia’s new fighter, the F/A-18 would proceed to establish an un-equalled record of service as Australia’s most successful combat aircraft. Designed from the outset to deliver superior performance as an air to air fighter and a precision strike/attack aircraft, the Classic Hornet, more than any other aircraft, has shaped the Royal Australian Air Force of today.

Entering service in 1985, the Classic Hornet would become the foundation capability for a generation of networked systems and air combat capabilities. Along the way the F/A-18 would be subjected to the largest and most complex upgrade program ever attempted, anywhere. The aircraft would also lead the way in two of the most significant applications of combat air power by Australian forces since the Vietnam War.

Now retired from service, the full story of Classic Hornet aircraft in Australian service can be told through the experiences of those who dedicated their efforts to make this platform serviceable, work effectively or to evolve. Classic Hornets were on the front-line of Australia’s combat capability for more than 36 years. The story of this remarkable war-horse is a story of evolution, incredible audacity, innovation, survival and persistence unlikely to be matched.  

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14 Jan 2024

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