An original 72 examples of the then McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet were purchased by the Spanish Air Force, deliveries of the EF-18 (E for 'España') commencing in late 1985. These have since been augmented by 24 ex-US Navy aircraft. Major upgrade work has significantly modernised the Spanish Hornets, and the example at RIAT 2014 will be either a single-seat EF-18M or two-seat EF-18BM updated by EADS CASA. Spain uses the aircraft, which was also given the local designation C.15, for both the air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, and has employed the type on operations over the Balkans and more recently Libya. Ala 15, the wing providing the EF-18 for the Air Tattoo static display, is stationed at Zaragoza; it has three component squadrons.
Photo credit: Ben Dunnell