IT WAS the Beatles revisited at RAAF Base Amberley yesterday, as 6 Squadron farewelled its faithful Super Hornet fighter bombers, handing them off to their colleagues in 1 Squadron.

In a case of 'Goodbye and Hello', the Super Hornets were taken for one last flight by 6 Squadron, departing Amberley in a five-jet formation, travelling via northern New South Wales, the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Kilcoy before returning to Amberley.

After landing at Amberley, the 12 Super Hornets were transferred to 1 Squadron, where they will continue to serve as a front line attack aircraft for the RAAF.

The transfer of the aircraft will see 6 Squadron begin training, ready to take delivery of the first of the EA-18G 'Growler' aircraft in 2017.

Australia will become the first nation outside of the USA to operate the Growler electronic warfare aircraft, providing RAAF operations with extra capability in combat operations.

Based on the same two-seat airframe as the Super Hornet, the Growler is specifically designed for the role, including the ability to use electronic jamming of radar and communications.

The first Australian pilot to qualify on Growlers, Flight Lieutenant Todd Woodford graduated from the US Navy's HAVOC course.

 

The first Growler aircraft will arrive at Amberley in 2017, with operating capbility expected during 2018.