Photo Credit – D.K. Coles

After A46-311 was written off after an aborted take-off accident at Nellis Air Force Base in the USA on the 27th of January 2018 (thankfully the crew escaped without injury), the Australian Government began investigations into procuring a replacement. A request was raised with the US Department of Defence and clearance for the sale was announced by the US Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) on 30 September. A single Growler was to be sold to Australia for USD125 million returning the RAAF fleet to 12.

On 3 May 22, the sale of the replacement aircraft (to be delivered from US Navy stock) was announced in Parliament by Defence Minister Mr Peter Dutton.