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 and is expected to be in service beyond 2035.
Open architecture design principles facilitate 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. 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
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 2016, there were 546 F/A-18E and F/A-18F
models in the U.S. Navy inventory. The Navy plans to procure a
total of 584 Super Hornets — 304 FA-18Es and 280 F/A-18Fs.
Super Hornets equip 30 of the 35 operational U.S. Navy
strike fighter squadrons, two fleet replacement squadrons and
three air test and evaluation squadrons, the Naval Aviation
Warfighting Development Center and the U.S. Naval Test Pilot
School (USNTPS). Boeing was awarded a contract in July 2016
to begin engineering work to convert Super Hornets for the
Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron.
WINGSPAN: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44. 9 feet
LENGTH: ................ 60.3feet
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:
POWER PLANT: . . . . . . . . . . ; 2;General;Electric;F414-GE-400;engines,;each;with;
ARMAMENT: . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; 1;M61A2;20mm;gun;; 16,000;pounds;of;external;
CRE W: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; F/A-18E,; 1;pilot;;F/A-18F,; 1;pilot;and; 1;weapons;
CONTRACTOR: . . . . . . . . . . ; 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. The primary design missions are fighter escort and
interdiction, with fleet air defense and close air support as
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.
Starting in spring 2014, a total of 40 retrofits began for the
F/A-18E SUPER HORNE T