The McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is a twin-engine multi-role carrier-based aircraft. The “E” variant is single-seater while the “F” variant is a tandem-seat configuration. The “E” is a much larger, more advanced and more capable variant of the F/A-18C. The Super variant can carry a larger array of weapons as well as more of them and is capable of returning to the carrier while still carrying unspent munitions, a big savings in dollars. The first F/A-18E flight was in 1995 and began delivery to the USN in 1999.
RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets are based at RAAF Base Amberley and assigned to 1 and 6 Squadrons. The RAAF acquired 24 F/A-18F aircraft while waiting for the F-35A Lightning II to become available. The RAAF Super Hornet maiden flight was on July 21, 2009 with the first five aircraft arriving in Australia on March 26, 2010.These aircraft were considered operational ready in December 2012. Operation Okra was Australia’s contribution to the air war against ISIS/ISIL. F/A-18F A44-212 BuNo. 167968 was delivered to 1 Squadron on July 6, 2010.