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Australia Plans To Get More F/A-18F Super Hornets

 F/A-18F Super Hornets
 F/A-18F Super Hornets
Australian defense officials are set to go to the USA this week for an
update from Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer of the JSF F-35 Lightening
II, about the delivery schedule of the F-35 jets.

country plans to buy up to 100 F-35 fighters and has placed an initial
order for 14. The Royal Australian Air Force  was expected to
induct the first batch of F-35 advanced stealth fighters by 2018.

the US Air Force too is buying the same variant of the Joint Strike
Fighter as the RAAF and has pushed back the dates by which it expects to
have its first squadrons operational from mid-2016 to 2017 — and
possibly now to mid-2018, the news report said.

assurances from Lockheed
Martin  that the first 14 fighters will be delivered to
it on time, Australian defense officials believe that deployment of the
new generation fighters in the RAAF would not happen before 2020 or
even later.

As the RAAF’s aging  ‘Hornets’ would be
nearing the end of their life span by that time, to bridge the gap in
its air defence, Australia is weighing the option to buy 18 more Super
Hornets at a total cost of $1.6 billion.

The Australian
Government had signed a $6 billion deal with the US in 2007 to acquire
24 F/A-18F Super Hornets. The fighters are being delivered in batches.