The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft. The F/A-18s first flew in November 1978 and the first production flight on April 12, 1980. The first 380 aircraft were F/A-18As and in September 1987 production switched to the F/A-18C. Variants A and C are single-seat aircraft while B and D are tandem-seats. The Hornet can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases with the capability of in flight refueling. A total of 1,480 A-D variants were built.
The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) No. 75 Squadron moved to RAAF Base Butterworth in Malaysia during May 1967. They remained there until 1981 when they moved back to RAAF Darwin. The RAAF had operated the F/A-18 since 1984 with No. 75 re-equipping with F/A-18s in 1988 at RAAF Tindal. After 35 years the RAAF was replacing the Hornet and sold 25 aircraft to Canada. The last aircraft to arrive at Williamtown for disposal was A21-117 c/n 623/ATF117, delivered in 1988.