Royal Australian Air Force combat aircraft have performed their first operational mission over Iraq, the nation’s Department of Defence has confirmed.
A pair of Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets took off from their forward operating base in the Middle East on 5 October for the combat debut, armed with Boeing JDAM-series GPS-guided bombs, Raytheon Paveway-series laser-guided bombs and air-to-air missiles.
They were flown in conjunction with an Airbus KC-30A (A330) multi-role tanker transport and Boeing 737-based E-7A Wedgetail airborne early warning and control system aircraft (below), both also deployed by Australia.
Canberra has committed an Air Task Group comprising eight Super Hornets and single examples of the KC-30A and Wedgetail, along with almost 400 personnel to the Middle East, to support the coalition campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Its tanker has also provided refuelling support to other coalition assets, including French air force Dassault Rafales, since the deployment began late last month.