Four F/A-18D Hornets have arrived at their new home at the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) base in Butterworth, Malaysia. The Hornet strike fighters touched down in Butterworth at approximately 2:10 p.m. Malaysia time, Aug. 28.
Delivery of the four two-seat model Hornets marks the completion of an order placed by the RMAF in June 1993. The first four aircraft were delivered on schedule to Malaysia May 26, 1997.
Eight U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots manned the controls as the aircraft made their way to Malaysia. The four Hornets were accompanied by a KC-10 tanker aircraft that provided air-to-air refueling. En route to Malaysia, the crew made stopovers in Hawaii and Guam.
The eight Hornets will fulfill strike and interdiction missions as part of the RMAF modernization program. Initially, the aircraft will be used to train RMAF pilots.
Boeing is providing a logistical package that will support aircraft operations at the RMAF base at Butterworth. The RMAF Hornets are equipped with the upgraded Hughes APG-73 radar and two General Electric F404-GE-402 enhanced performance engines.
Malaysia is the first nation in Southeast Asia to purchase and receive the F/A-18. Other countries that have ordered or are currently flying the Hornet are the United States (Navy and Marine Corps), Canada, Australia, Spain, Kuwait, Finland, Switzerland and Thailand.