RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets could soon be flying over the Evans Head bombing range on training exercises. Australian Defence Force
RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets could soon be flying over the Evans Head bombing range on training exercises. Australian Defence Force

Super Hornets to use bombing range

RESIDENTS living near Evans Head are already used to seeing pigs fly, and soon they’ll be able to see a rhino do the same

Five F/A-18F Super Hornet fighter jets, known affectionately as ‘rhinos’, recently arrived in Australia to replace the aging F-111 fleet, nicknamed ‘the pig’, because of their hunting ability.

With the Super Hornets based at RAAF Amberley south of Brisbane, the new combat jets are expected to make use of the Evans Head bombing range for training exercises.

For some residents near the range, it is now a case of keeping their eyes to the skies as they try to spot a glimpse of a ‘rhino’.

Woodburn resident and self confessed plane fanatic Joe Celich said he heard jet engines roar above him as he played bowls on the weekend.

However, he wasn’t sure if it was an F-111 or the new Super Hornet, though he figured the new planes might already be getting some air time.

“I think since they got the new planes they’re practising,” he said.

“But I haven’t seen them. I don’t know how much different they look.

“I am dying to see them.”

The new Super Hornets are the first new combat aircraft for the Air Force in 25 years, and will replace the F-111.

The F-111has been a stalwart of the RAAF since 1973, and is expected to be retired by December this year.

The Super Hornets will be used as the Air Force makes the transition from the F-111 to the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.



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