List of current Royal Australian Air Force aircraft

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This is a list of the current Royal Australian Air Force aircraft in operation:

Current aircraft[edit]

Aircraft Unit operating Number of aircraft Origin
Combat aircraft
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II multirole fighter 61st Fighter Squadron, United States Air Force (for training and testing) 2 (+70 on order) (a further 28 planned) United States
Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet strike fighter No. 1 Squadron (RAAF Base Amberley)
No. 6 Squadron (RAAF Base Amberley)
24 United States
McDonnell Douglas/GAF F/A-18A and F/A-18B Hornet multirole fighter No. 3 Squadron (RAAF Base Williamtown)

No. 75 Squadron (RAAF Base Tindal)
No. 77 Squadron (RAAF Base Williamtown)
No. 2 Operational Conversion Unit (RAAF Base Williamtown)

71 Australia
Patrol aircraft
Lockheed AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft No. 10 Squadron (RAAF Base Edinburgh) 11 United States
Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft No. 11 Squadron (RAAF Base Edinburgh) 3 (+9 on order) United States
AEW&C and EW aircraft
Boeing E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning & Control aircraft No. 2 Squadron (RAAF Base Williamtown) 6[1] United States
Boeing EA-18G Growler Electronic Warfare aircraft No. 6 Squadron (RAAF Base Amberley) 12[2] United States
Gulfstream G550 Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Electronic Warfare (ISREW) aircraft Surveillance and Response Group (SRG) (RAAF Base Edinburgh) 5 on order United States
FAC aircraft
Pilatus/Hawker de Havilland PC-9/A (FAC variant) Forward Air Control aircraft No. 4 Squadron (RAAF Base Williamtown) 4 Australia (license built)
Transport aircraft
Alenia C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter No. 35 Squadron (RAAF Base Richmond) 6 (+4 on order) Italy
Lockheed C-130J Hercules medium transport No. 37 Squadron (RAAF Base Richmond) 12 United States
Boeing C-17 Globemaster heavy transport No. 36 Squadron (RAAF Base Amberley) 8 United States
Airbus KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport No. 33 Squadron (RAAF Base Amberley) 5 (+2 on order) Spain/France
Boeing BBJ (Boeing Business Jet) VIP transport No. 34 Squadron (Defence Establishment Fairbairn) 2 United States
Bombardier Challenger 604 VIP transport No. 34 Squadron (Defence Establishment Fairbairn) 3 Canada
Beechcraft King Air 350 light transportA No. 38 Squadron (RAAF Base Townsville) 8 United States
Training aircraft
Pilatus/Hawker de Havilland PC-9/A advanced trainer Central Flying School (RAAF Base East Sale)
No. 2 Flying Training School (RAAF Base Pearce)[3]
61 Australia
BAe Hawk 127 lead-in fighter trainer No. 79 Squadron (RAAF Base Pearce)
No. 76 Squadron (RAAF Base Williamtown)
33 United Kingdom
Beechcraft King Air 350 navigation & specialised trainer No. 32 Squadron (RAAF Base East Sale) 8 United States
Remotely piloted aircraft
IAI Heron RPA No. 5 Flight 4B Israel
MQ-4C Triton RPA No. 92 Wing (*7 on order)[4] United States

Future acquisitions[edit]

Air 6000 Ph2A/2B: Lockheed F-35A prototype
  • AIR 6000: Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter[5][6]
    • A possible total of 100 F-35As are to be purchased under Project Air 6000 to replace the Hornets and Super Hornets.
      • AIR 6000, Phase 2A/2B, Stage 1: 14 F-35A fighters have been approved for purchase for service entry from 2014.
      • AIR 6000, Phase 2A/2B, Stage 2: 58 F-35A fighters have been approved for purchase bringing total on order to 72 aircraft. Stage 1&2 will replace all F/A-18A/B fighters in service.
      • AIR 6000, Phase 2C: around 28 additional F-35A fighters planned for purchase. These will replace all F/A-18F fighters in service.
Air 7000 Ph2B: P-8A and P-3C
  • AIR 7000: ADF Maritime ISR capability replacement[7]
    • Programme to replace the AP-3C Orion maritime patrol aircraft with a manned MPA/UAV mix.
      • AIR 7000, Phase 1B: Purchase of 7 high altitude, long endurance maritime surveillance UAV. The MQ-4C Global Hawk was originally selected for the role, but the decision has been delayed until after the manned portion is introduced.
      • AIR 7000, Phase 2B: Purchase of 8 Boeing P-8A Poseidon manned MPA has been given first-pass approval for service entry from 2018.
  • AIR 8000: Battlefield Airlift[8]
  • AIR 5428: Pilot Training System[11]
    • Programme to replace PC-9/A training aircraft and training syllabus.
      • Air 5428, Phase 1: 49 Pilatus PC-21 ordered in 2015 for entry into service by 2019.[12]
  • Boeing EA-18G Growler. On 23 August 2012, the Australian Government announced that 12 RAAF Super Hornets would be fitted with Growler capability at a cost of $1.5 billion, making the Royal Australian Air Force the only military other than the U.S. to operate the Growler's electronic jamming equipment. In May 2013, Australia announced it would keep all 24 F/A-18F Super Hornets and order 12 new-built EA-18G Growlers.
  • Gulfstream G550 In late 2015 the RAAF ordered two Gulfstream G550 aircraft to be delivered by 30 November 2017. The aircraft will be used for signals and electronic intelligence gathering.[13] Both Australian Aviation and FlightGlobal have reported that the aircraft will possibly form the replacement for the electronic intelligence-gathering role performed by 2 of RAAF's AP-3 Orions.[13][14]

See also[edit]


A. ^ This aircraft is considered an interim capability to cover the retirement of the de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou and the introduction of its replacement under the much troubled Project Air 8000 Phase 2.
B ^ The aircraft are leased from the Canadian firm Macdonald Dettwiler and Associates.[15] Training on the UAVs is provided by a third aircraft operated by No. 5 Flight RAAF.[16]


  1. ^ Waldron, Greg. "RAAF receives final Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft". Flight International, June 5, 2012.
  2. ^ "Budget 2017–18: Portfolio Budget Statements 2017–18: Budget Related Paper No. 1.4A" (PDF). Department of Defence. 2017. 
  3. ^ "Pilatus PC-9/A trainer". RAAF Website. Archived from the original (url) on 29 March 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-31. 
  4. ^ "MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System". RAAF. Retrieved 3 July 2015.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ "JSF Joint Strike Fighter". Royal Australian Air Force website. Archived from the original on 27 February 2008. Retrieved 2008-03-13. 
  6. ^ "Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft AIR 6000 Phase 2A/B". Defence Materiel Organisation. May 2011. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  7. ^ "AIR 7000 Phase 1B/2B". Defence Materiel Organisation. June 2011. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  8. ^ "AIR 8000 Battlefield Airlift". Defence Materiel Organisation. December 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  9. ^ Smith MP, Stephen (2012-05-10). "New Battlefield aircraft for the Air Force". Minister for Defence and Minister for Defence Materiel – Joint Media Release. Commonwealth of Australia. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  10. ^ Ellery, David (2012-05-10). "New airlifters confirmed for RAAF". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2012-05-10. 
  11. ^ "AIR 5428 Ph 1 Pilot Training System". Defence Materiel Organisation. December 2010. Retrieved 27 June 2011. 
  12. ^ "Lockheed’s "Team 21" finally confirmed as AIR 5428 winning bidder". Australian Aviation. 
  13. ^ a b "Defence confirms acquisition of two ISR and EW Gulfstreams". Australian Aviation. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2016. 
  14. ^ Waldron, Greg (4 January 2016). "L-3 G550 contract suggests new Australian surveillance deal". Flightglobal. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  15. ^ Walters, Patrick (8 September 2010). "Heron on the wing to guide Diggers". The Australian. Retrieved 7 September 2010. 
  16. ^ McLaughlin, Andrew (April 2010). "Nankeen. The RAAF enters the UAV era with Heron lease". Australian Aviation. No. 270. Fyshwick: Phantom Media. p. 31. ISSN 0813-0876. 

External links[edit]