Boeing has unveiled the first of 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets (below) ordered by the Royal Australian Air Force.

Canberra, the first export customer, is expected to set up its first operational Super Hornet squadron in March-April 2010. This will help the RAAF to retire its General Dynamics F-111s and ease the transition to the Lockheed Martin F-15 Joint Strike Fighter around 2015. reported earlier today that while Australia is unlikely to order additional F/A-18s, it could convert 12 of the Super Hornets that it has ordered into E/A-18G Growlers. Australia is also conducting mid-life upgrades for its F/A-18A/Bs.

Australian F/A-18

Australia F/A-18F second picture

Australia F/A-18F third picture