The Royal Australian Air Force has begun the East Coast Air Defence Exercise (ECADEX 11) at RAAF Williamtown and RAAF Amberley to maintain operational capability and to practice key air defence skills.

The drill will feature up to 30 military aircraft including F/A-18F Super Hornets, F/A-18 Classic Hornets, Mk127 Hawk lead-in fighters and a Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft.

Commander Air Combat Group air commodore Mel Hupfeld said: "The exercise also provides an opportunity for air force personnel to practice their skills at maintaining the integrity of Australian airspace and protecting vital infrastructure, such as a shipping port or an airfield."

The exercise scenario is designed to test both passive and active air defence capabilities in preparation for domestic and overseas operations.

ECADEX will also provide crew and ground personnel with the opportunity to further develop integration of the air force’s new capabilities, including the Wedgetail and Super Hornets.