The Royal Australian Air Force has flown F/A-18 Block-II Super Hornets since December 2010. Australia almost ordered F-35s but following a controversy about the JSF program (Joint Strike Fighter), purchased F/A-18Fs instead of the F-35 Lightning IIs expected in order to replace the old F-111s.
These fighter jets have taken up the F-4 Phantom II’s nickname “Rhino”. The Super Hornet is equipped with an AESA radar (Active Electronically Scanned Array radar – APG-79), and it can refuel other aircraft with its ARS – Aerial Refuelling System. Moreover, it has a low RCS signature (RCS: Radar Cross Section) with its rectangular air intakes, and its maneuverability has been improved thanks to enlarged Leading-Edge eXtensions or LEX.
The F-22 Raptor offer is likely to be turned down. However, Australia might purchase the convential take-off and landing (CTOL) variant of the JSF/F-35A