Y electronics warfare systems, resulting in sophisticated sys-
tems such as the Block 3 Integrated Defensive Electronic
Countermeasures System that includes the ALR- 67(V) 3 radar
warning receiver, ALQ-214(V) 5 airborne jammer and ALE- 47
infrared countermeasures dispenser.
Following a production run of more than 400 F/A-18A/Bs,
deliveries of the single-seat F/A-18C and two-seat F/A-18D
began in October 1987. The F/A-18C/Ds incorporated provisions for employing updated missiles and jamming devices
against enemy ordnance. They are armed with the AIM- 120
Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM) and
the infrared-imaging version of the AGM- 65 Maverick air-to-ground tactical missile.
The Hornet is gradually giving way to the F/A-18E/F Super
Hornet and F- 35 Lightning II. Marines will continue to operate F/A-18A++/C/C+/Ds until they are replaced by F-35s. The
last Hornet, an F/A-18D, rolled off the Boeing production line
in August 2000.
The Service Life Extension Program (SLEP) program of
record continues to progress forward. The majority of operating F/A-18A-D Hornets will receive modifications to extend
their service lives beyond 8,000 flight hours; most will be
modified to attain the 10,000 flight-hour goal. In addition to
modifications, all fleet aircraft will need to incorporate the
high-flight-hour inspection suite prior to exceeding 8,000
hours to ensure safety of flight and airworthiness.
The F/A- 18 Hornet is employed in Navy and Marine Corps
Strike Fighter squadrons and in the air forces of Australia,
Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland. A
total of 1,503 F/A-18A-D Hornets were produced.
As of October 2016, the Navy and Marine Corps had 560
F/A-18A-D aircraft in operational service and in test roles,
and 36 F/A-18Cs in inactive storage. Legacy Hornets equip five
active Navy VFA and 12 active Marine Corps VMFA squadrons,
one Navy Reserve VFA squadron and one Marine Corps Reserve
VMFA squadron, two fleet replacement VFA/VFMA squadrons,
one Navy Reserve fighter composite squadron, three VX squadrons, the Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron (Blue Angels)
and the Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center.
WINGSPAN: . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40. 4 feet
HEIGHT:................. 15. 3 feet
WEIGHT: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; 51,900;pounds;maximum;takeoff
SPEED: ..................Mach 1. 7+
CEILING:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . approx. 50,000 feet
RANGE: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; Hi-Lo-Lo-Hi;profile;radius;with; 3;330-gallon
external;fuel;tanks;and; 4; 1,000-pound;bombs:
POWER PLANT:. . . . . . . . . . ; 2;General;Electric;F404-GE-402;enhanced-
ARMAMENT:. . . . . . . . . . . . . ; 1;M61A1/M61A2;20mm;gun;; 14,000;pounds;of;
CREW: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ; F/A-18A;and;C,; 1;pilot;;F/A-18B;and;D,; 2;pilots;or
CONTRACTOR: . . . . . . . . . . ; Boeing;Co.
F-35C LIGHTNING II
BRIEFING: The F- 35 Lightning II program is designed to
field transformational strike aircraft for the Navy, Marine
Corps and Air Force that include next-generation sensors and
weapons systems, stealth characteristics and a high level of
commonality among versions. The F-35C, designed for carrier
operations, features a larger wing and stronger landing gear
than the F-35A being developed for the Air Force. The F-35C
will be a single-piloted strike fighter powered by the world’s
most powerful fighter engine. It has an APG- 81 AESA multipurpose radar and internal bay for a low observable cross
section and to carry precision weapons.
It also has internal Electro-Optical Targeting System
Optics to provide dual infrared imaging and infrared search
and track (IRS&T) targeting functions. The Distributed
Aperture System (DAS) provides a variety of different functions, including spherical missile approach warning, all-aspect
IRS&T and an infrared source for the night vision to be displayed on the Helmet-Mounted Display (HMD).
The head-up display found in legacy aircraft has been
replaced by the HMD as a primary flight reference. The HMD
has a 30-degree by 40-degree display that provides night
vision via infrared DAS video or night camera electro-optic
video mounted on the HMD.
The Human Systems Interface is rounded out with voice
recognition, three-dimensional audio and an 8-inch by 20-inch
tactical display. The data-link suite includes two-way Link 16,
Variable Message Formatting, Multifunction Advanced Data
Link (low-probability-of-intercept, high-data-capability,
F-35-only data link) and a P- 5 training data link.
Now completing the 11th year of a 13-year systems development and demonstration phase, the F-35C was the third
variant of the aircraft to be flight tested. It will incorporate
many of the weight-saving design changes planned for the
Marine Corps F-35B short-takeoff, vertical-landing version.
The first F-35C made its first flight on June 6, 2010, and
was delivered to the test team at Naval Air Station (NAS)
Patuxent River, Md., on Nov. 6, 2010. By mid-2011, three
F-35Cs were in testing at Patuxent River. In 2011, the F-35C
completed catapult launch and jet-blast deflector tests. In
F/A-18C HORNE T