F/A18-E/F Super Hornet ....
QuickTime movie of F/A-18F taking off at the McDonnell Douglas plant in St. Louis, Mo.. (This movie is more than 2.4 MB)
Leading Naval Aviation into the 21st Century
The F/A18-E/F Super Hornet is the Navy's new long-range, multi-mission, all-weather strike fighter. The aircraft made its debut at Patuxent River (Md.) Naval Air Station in September 1995. A total of ten test aircraft are being used for the test program. Seven are flying test aircraft and three are ground test aircraft. All seven flying aircraft are currently at Patuxent River.
The F/A18-E/F has achieved many milestones since its debut. The most significant was initial sea trials aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), the Navy's newest aircraft carrier. These first Super Hornet carrier qualifications occurred in January 1997 off the coast of Florida, and consisted of a series of tests including catapult launches, arrested landings and various other system evaluations conducted by flight deck crews.
The F/A18-E/F is an evolutionary upgrade of the combat-proven F/A18-C/D, built by an industry team led by McDonnell Douglas, Northrop Grumman, General Electric and Hughes. The upgrade provides a state of the art multi-mission capability and decades of growth potential at one third to one half the cost of a new aircraft design. The new Super Hornet is under-weight, under-budget and continues to meet all scheduling requirements on time.
The Super Hornet is fully capable to conduct both air-to-air and air-to-ground
combat missions. This includes air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided
weapons, fighter-escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses,
reconnaissance, forward air control and refueling. The Super Hornet has greater
range/endurance, can carry a heavier payload, has enhanced survivability, and a built-in potential to incorporate future systems and technologies.
F/A18-E/F as it compares with the F/A18-C/D
- can fly up to 40% farther on a typical interdiction mission.
- can remain on station 80% longer during a typical combat air patrol scenario.
- has three times the "bring back" capability (will be able to "bring back" approximately three times the amount of payload (unused ordnance) to the ship.)
Other F/A18-E/F facts
- has increased internal fuel capacity by 3600 pounds (33%).
- has increased engine power.
- can extend of the mission radius by up to 40%.
- has additional weapon stations now totaling 11.
- has increased surface area by 100 square feet (25%).
- carries modified display mechanisms to include crew station features, up-front controls and color CRT instrumentation
The U. S. Navy believes the F/A18 Super Hornet is the right airplane at the right time. The single seat F/A18-E and the two seat F/A18-F will continue to uphold the Hornet's proud tradition as the U. S. Navy's benchmark for high reliability, low maintenance, outstanding survivability and cost-effective fleet operations. The Super Hornet test program holds much promise for the future as it leads naval aviation into the 21st century!