Boeing unveils first F/A-18F in Australian colors

SAINT LOUIS, Missouri — Boeing unveiled the first of 24 F/A-18Fs ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) in a ceremony this morning in St. Louis, Missouri. The event drew hundreds of Boeing factory employees and RAAF officials, including Air Marshall Mark Binskin, Australia’s air force chief. Binskin said the F/A-18F will help the RAAF transition to the advanced avionics and stealth technology offered by the F-35. Australia plans to order 100 F-35s. If Boeing still hopes to supplant the F-35 in Australia with an expanded order for F/A-18s, Binskin delivered a tough message. There will be no “Plan B” if the F-35 is delayed, he said, adding: “Sorry, Bob.” Bob Gower is Boeing’s F/A-18 vice president.



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8 Responses to Boeing unveils first F/A-18F in Australian colors

  1. Obamanite 8 July, 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    I’m still a little unclear as to why Australia even bothered to order the Superbug as a stop-gap fighter. Seems like an unnecessary expense to “protect” Australia against, what? Aborigines? The big, bad Indonesians? China??? What threat did their MoD define that could possibly justify acquiring this aircraft that could not be met by updated Bugs and Varks until their F-35s achieve IOC and/or FOC? I would love to have been a fly on the wall when negotiations were taking place with between Boeing and Australian defense officials. Wonder who was bribed and how much it took…

  2. ELP 8 July, 2009 at 10:14 pm #

    “If Boeing still hopes to supplant the F-35 in Australia with an expanded order for F/A-18s, Binskin delivered a tough message. There will be no “Plan B” if the F-35 is delayed, he said, adding: “Sorry, Bob.” Bob Gower is Boeing’s F/A-18 vice president.”

    –Interesting theory. That was Boeings plan all along. And yes there will be some kind of plan B if the F-35 really screws the pooch.

  3. airplane jim 8 July, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    As I recall, and I could be mistaken, the Aussie’s came to Boeing because of the delays the F-35 was experiencing. As for IOC/FOC does anyone have an idea when that REALLY will be? Currently still little testing time on the flying structure and many possibilities yet to come up there. Then there is always the question of cost and that can only go up. The Aussies, unlike the U.S., have a finite budget when it comes to military hardware. If the F-35 ends up being 1)very expensive and/or 2) a turkey, I would bet that the good Air Marshall will be back for seconds. As for why they need F/A-18 E/F’s, the same argument could be made for why on earth they would need the F-35.

  4. W800I 9 July, 2009 at 1:26 am #

    Mr Binskin has once again squandered an excellent opportunity to place pressure on LM. Instead of slamming the door on future F-18 purchases he should be leaving the door well and truly open. At any rate one wonders how much say he would really have if the politicians became nervous that the F-35 programe was running horribly late and a further tranche of F-18′s looked palatable leading up to an election. Ahh of course that has already occurred once before hasn’t it. The proof is for all to see in the video above.

  5. Obamanite 9 July, 2009 at 7:25 am #

    Once again, anyone care to explain why this Boeing product was so urgently needed???? I’m going to have to go with outright bribery and corruption until I’m convinced otherwise.

  6. Bern 9 July, 2009 at 1:35 pm #

    Obamanite, one of the superbug sales team from Boeing was an ex-leader of the political party that was in power at the time of the order, so that definitely begs questions as to whether any corruption was involved…

    There also could be some nasty problems with the fatigue life of the existing RAAF Hornets – I read somewhere the centre barrel replacement program isn’t going so well…

    And to quote senior defence officials when asked as to why they were recommending killing the F-111: “We don’t know what we don’t know.”

  7. Aussie 7 September, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    Pakfa, Su-35, F-22a, F-15se, it’s all relative now. The decisions been made(F-18F, F-35)and Australia will stick with it. No more debate, no more discussion will be entered into! Must be some Intel that we’re not privy too!

    Why do we need air superiority? We need a deterrent!
    F-18f, F-35 a deterrent? The jury’s still out. Not in my book!

    I just hope that if a conflict does occur, the defense matrix(radar web, stand off weapons and fueling rendezvous) will suffice until the sheriff arrives!

    For the record, I was leaning towards the F-15se, go figure.

    Here’s to peace, cheers.

  8. Carly Green 9 September, 2010 at 5:07 am #

    how on earth did Julia Gillard get back in following the shambles that Labour have created in our economy, says alot with regards to the competition

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