RAAF and RAN Combat Jets cover

Articles – RAAF and RAN Combat Jets

RAAF and RAN Combat Jets cover
RAAF and RAN Combat Jets cover



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Super Hornet:

Described as a ‘temporary bridging capability’ when it was ordered, the super Hornet introduced substantial new capabilities to the RAAF and will remain in service for many years. p 8


When the Hawk lead-in fighter trainer entered RAAF service in late 2000, it ended a process which had begun nearly three decades earlier in the search for a ‘Macchi replacement’. p 14


Re-engining the famed F-86 Sabre for the RAAF created large challenges for the Australian industry but also produced arguably the best of all he Sabre day fighter variants. p 20


The ‘Delta Lady’ introduced supersonic military flying to the RAAF and moved the local aerospace industry into building a fighter which was the state-of-the-art for the time. p 30

Sea Venom:

The RAN’s first jet and all-weather fighter, the Sea Venom formed the Fleet Air Arm’s second ‘duo’ of operational types along with the Fairey Gannet anti-submarine warfare aircraft. p 40


The last fixed wing combat aircraft, operated by the RAN before carrier operations were abandoned, ‘Heinemann’s Hot Rod’ flew with the Fleet Air Arm for more than 16 years. p 44


The Vampire holds a special place in Australian military aviation history: the RAAF’s first operational jet aircraft and the first jet built in Australia. p 50


Named after Australia’s capital city, the Canberra was the first jet bomber to enter RAAF service. Built under licence in Australia, it served the RAAF with distinction in war and peace. p 58


Australia’s ‘Big Stick’ – the mighty F-111 was a vital part of Australia’s security for nearly four decades, provining a very substantial deterrent. p 66


The first jet to appear on RAAF strength was a Meteor on loan from Britain in 1946. Five years later Meteors became the first RAAF jets to see combat in Korea. p 74

Lightning II:

Promising enormous high-tech capability, the ‘fifth generation’ F-35A Lightning II will be the RAAF’s next combat aircraft when it finally enters regular service in about 2020. p 80


What has been described as the ‘greatest fighter of the post-war era’ served with the RAAF as much by accident as design and then for only a brief period between 1970 and 1973. p 82


Now entering the autumn of its operational life, the Hornet has been the cornerstone of Australia’s air combat capability for nearly three decades and will continue in service for a while yet. p 90