Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18A Hornet A21-022 – with a distinguished 30-year history of service – has been welcomed into the Australian War Memorial collection.
CAPTION: F/A-18A Hornet A21-022 being offloaded at the Australian War Memorial’s Treloar Technology Centre, Canberra. Photo by Jamie Crocker.
Memorial Director Matt Anderson thanked the Australian Defence Force for allowing the aircraft to be transferred to the Australian War Memorial.
“This aircraft is an incredibly important piece of Australian aviation history, and a welcome addition to the memorial’s collection,” Mr Anderson said.
Watch the disassembly timelapse
“Hornet A21-022 has long been identified as an item of great interest to the memorial in helping tell the story of modern combat.
“The long operational history of the Hornet is an important part of our military history, and we look forward to being able to interpret that for generations of Australians.”
A21-022 was deployed to Operation Falconer in 2003 where it took part in 20 combat missions, including four operations in which ordnance was delivered.
During Operation Okra in 2016-17 it flew more than 50 combat missions against ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria.
It was retired on 9 June 2020 after more than 30 years in service, with 6131.5 flying hours in its log book.
The entry of the F/A-18A hornet into the AWM collection was marked in a handover event at the Treloar Technology Centre in Mitchell today, attended by representatives of the Federal parliament, RAAF, Defence, and the Australian War Memorial.
Group Captain Michael Grant, who flew A21-022 during Operation Okra and was later awarded a Distinguished Service Medal for his leadership during this deployment, attended the event.
Mr Anderson said the Australian War Memorial was grateful for the support and assistance of the Royal Australian Air Force, the Department of Defence and Boeing Defence Australia in facilitating the transfer of the Hornet.
A second aircraft, F/A-18 Hornet A21-040, is scheduled to be handed over to the AWM in mid-2022.
Australia’s fleet of 71 F/A-18 ‘Classic’ Hornets is being progressively retired from service as the RAAF transitions to a fleet of 72 F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters.