Final F/A-18 Hornet deep service completed at Williamtown RAAF base

An F/A-18 Classic Hornet. Picture: CPL Craig Barrett
An F/A-18 Classic Hornet. Picture: CPL Craig Barrett

Williamtown has watched the last F/A-18 Classic Hornet roll out of its deep maintenance servicing spelling the end of a program credited with supporting 150 jobs in the Hunter.

The servicing for the Hornets is ending as the advanced Joint Strike Fighter F-35As progressively replace the older jets.

The 75 Classic Hornets were introduced into service in 1985. Their December 2021 withdrawal will mark 36 years of service.

Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said the final aircraft was the 163rd deeper maintenance servicing job done on the fleet since 2013.

"These operations have generated an additional 140,000 flying hours for the Classic Hornets and also contributed $200 million to the Australian economy," she said.

"To secure these local Hunter jobs, Boeing will continue to provide logistics, engineering and maintenance support through to the planned withdrawal date of December 2021."

The last F/A-18A/B Classic Hornets to undergo deeper maintenance servicing rolled out of Boeing Defence Australia at Williamtown this week.

The Classic Hornets will be prepared for heritage display in the Hunter. The aircraft could be displayed within Australia or even overseas if buyers emerge, and the work will bridge the gap until F-35A sustainment begins at Williamtown.