The Australian War Memorial has taken delivery of a former RAAF F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornet.
The aircraft – A21-022 which was retired in May 2020 after flying 6,131.5 hours over its 32 year service career – was trucked to Canberra from its former base at RAAF Williamtown in late October. It was delivered to the Memorial’s annex in Mitchell where it will be reassembled by Boeing Australia staff, preserved, and prepared for display in the Memorial’s expended display halls when they are built in the next few years.
A21-022 has a prestigious combat record, having deployed to Qatar on Operational FALCONER in 2003 where it dropped the first Australian weapon in that conflict, and again to the UAE for Operation OKRA in 2016-17. The jet wears multiple mission markings on its nose from the OKRA deployment.
“This is a special aircraft for the RAAF,” Defence Industry Minister Melissa Price said in a statement. “It is very fitting that it will now spend its next life on permanent display at the Australian War Memorial.”
An official handover of the aircraft to the Australian War Memorial will be conducted in December.