F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET
BRIEFING: Built on the nation’s first strike fighter, the F/A- 18
Hornet, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is an attack aircraft as well
as a fighter through selected use of external equipment and
advanced networking capabilities to accomplish specific missions. This “force multiplier” capability gives the operational
commander more flexibility in employing tactical aircraft in
rapidly changing battle scenarios. In its fighter mode, it provides escort and fleet air defense. In the attack mode, it provides
force projection and close and deep air support.
Developed on cost and ahead of schedule, the Super Hornet
achieved its initial operational capability (IOC) in 2001. With 563
Super Hornets scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2016, the
aircraft is expected to be in service beyond 2035. Open architecture design principles enhance future development capabilities.
The Super Hornet provides aircrew the capability and performance necessary to face 21st century threats. In Operation
Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, it performed
new combinations of varied and distinct missions, including air
dominance, fighter escort, defense suppression, all-weather
day/night precision strike, reconnaissance and aerial refueling.
The single-seat F/A-18E and two-seat F/A-18F are 4. 2 feet
longer than earlier Hornets. In addition, the Super Hornet has a 25
percent larger wing area, longer wing span by 4. 7 feet and a 33 percent higher internal fuel capacity, increasing mission range by 32
percent. Its carrier-recovery payload is more than 9,000 pounds.
The Super Hornet incorporates two additional wing stations
that allow for increased payload flexibility in the mix of air-to-air and air-to-ground ordnance. It has five “wet” stations for in-flight refueling capability and can carry almost every weapon in
the U.S. Navy arsenal.
The F/A-18E/F has the space, power and cooling capability needed to accommodate installation-sensitive avionics. Sophisticated
systems such as the Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures System, Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared,
Joint Helmet-Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS), Joint Direct Attack
Munition (JDAM), Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), AIM-9X missile,
Distributed Target System (DTS), APG- 79 active electronically
scanned array (AESA) radar, and advanced mission computers and
displays make the aircraft a capable, lethal strike platform.
The Super Hornet saw its first combat action on Nov. 6, 2002,
when Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 participated in a strike
on hostile targets during Operation Enduring Freedom. The second and third operational Super Hornet units, VFA- 14 and VFA-
41 (the latter being the first operational F/A-18F squadron),
entered combat in Iraq in April 2003 and introduced the Shared
Reconnaissance Pod (SHARP) and JHMCS capabilities.
VFA-213 was the first operational squadron to fly the F/A-
18F equipped with the APG- 79 AESA radar.
As of October 2014, there were 515 F/A-18E and F/A-18F
models in the U.S. Navy inventory. The Navy plans to procure a
total of 563 Super Hornets — 292 FA-18Es and 271 F/A-18Fs.
F/A- 18 Hornets, Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers currently
operate in 45 U.S. Navy and 11 U.S. Marine Corps Strike Fighter
and Electronic Attack Squadrons from carriers and air stations
worldwide. There are an additional 14 squadrons carrying out
training, test, Reserve and flight demonstration duties.
Super Hornets equip 23 of the 44 operational VFA squadrons,
two fleet readiness VFA squadrons and three VX (Air Test and
Evaluation) squadrons, the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center and
the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS). The Royal Australian Air
Force took final delivery of 24 F/A-18Fs in October 2011.
WINGSPAN:.................. 44. 9 feet
LENGTH:...................... 60. 3 feet
HEIGHT: ....................... 16. 2 feet
WEIGHT: ....................... 66,000 pounds maximum takeoff
SPEED:.........................Mach 1. 7+
CEILING:.......................approx. 50,000 feet
RANGE:........................Hi-Lo-Lo-Hi profile radius with 3 480-gallon
external fuel tanks and 4 1,000-pound bombs:
486 nautical miles
POWER PLANT:........... 2 General Electric F414-GE-400 engines, each
with 20,700 pounds static uninstalled thrust
ARMAMENT: ................ 1 M61A2 20mm gun; 16,000 pounds of exter-
nal stores; general bombs, Global Positioning
System (GPS)/laser-guided bombs; air-to-air
and air-to-ground missiles; and various other
types of pods and mines
CREW:............................F/A-18E, 1 pilot; F/A-18F, 1 pilot and 1 weapons
CON TRACTOR: ...........Boeing Co.
BRIEFING: The F/A-18A-D Hornet is a twin-engine, midwing,
multimission tactical aircraft. Introduced in 1978, it replaced the F-
4 Phantom and A- 7 Corsair II. The single-seat F/A- 18 was the
nation’s first strike fighter capable of performing attack and fighter
missions. The single-seat F/A-18A and two-seat F/A-18B became
operational in 1983. Reliability and ease of maintenance were
emphasized in the Hornet’s design and F/A-18s have consistently
flown three times as many hours without failure as other Navy tactical aircraft while requiring half the maintenance time.
The Hornet uses external equipment to accomplish specific
fighter or attack missions. This capability offers the operational
commander more flexibility in employing the tactical aircraft in
changing scenarios. The primary design missions are fighter
escort and interdiction with fleet air defense and close air support as additional roles.
The F/A- 18 is equipped with a digital fly-by-wire flight-control system that provides exceptional maneuverability and
allows the pilot to concentrate on operating weapons systems. A
solid thrust-to-weight ratio and superior turn characteristics,
combined with energy sustainability, enable the Hornet to hold
its own against any adversary. The F/A- 18 is the Navy’s first tactical jet to incorporate digital-bus architecture for the entire
avionics suite, making this component relatively easy to
upgrade on a regular and affordable basis.
F/A-18F SUPER HORNET