F/A-18E/F SUPER HORNET
BRIEFING: 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.
The Super Hornet achieved its initial operational capability
(IOC) in 2001. 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 Operations
Iraqi Freedom and 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, a longer wingspan 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 2015, there were 545 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 47 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 28 of the 35 operational U.S. Navy
Strike Fighter squadrons, two Fleet Readiness squadrons and
three Air Test and Evaluation squadrons, the Naval Strike and
Air Warfare Center and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School.
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; various other types
of pods and mines
CREW: ..........................F/A-18E, 1 pilot; F/A-18F, 1 pilot and
1 weapons systems officer
CONTRAC TOR: ...........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. 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 it relatively easy to upgrade.
The F/A-18C/D has the space, power and cooling capability
needed to accommodate installation-sensitive avionics. Starting in
spring 2014, a total of 60 retrofits began for the electronics warfare
systems, resulting in sophisticated systems such as the Block 3
Integrated Defensive Electronic Countermeasures System that
includes the AN/ALR- 67(V) 3 radar warning receiver, AN/ALQ-
214(V) 5 airborne jammer and AN/ALE- 47 infrared countermeasures dispenser.
F/A-18E SUPER HORNET