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THE F/A-18
RED SEA (Sept. 3, 2013) An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the
        Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 146 launches off
        the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN6). The
        Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet
        area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations
        and theater security cooperation efforts. (U.S. Navy photo by
        Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kelly M.
        Agee/Released)PACIFIC OCEAN (May 6, 2013) An F/A-18C
        Hornet from the Stingers of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113
        launches from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70).
        Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 are underway off the
        coast of Southern California conducting flight operations. (U.S.
        Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Nicolas C.
        Lopez/Released)PHILIPPINE SEA (Sept.
        28, 2013) An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Diamondbacks of
        Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102 makes an arrested landing on
        the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington
        (CVN 73). George Washington and its embarked air wing, Carrier
        Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force that protects and
        defends the collective maritime interest of the U.S. and its
        allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy
        photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Ramon G.
        Go/Released)GULF OF OMAN (June 17, 2013) An
        F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Black Knights of Strike
        Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 and an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the
        Death Rattlers of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 323
        launch off of the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The
        Nimitz Carrier Strike Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet
        area of responsibility conducting maritime security operations,
        theater security cooperation efforts and support missions for
        Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass
        Communication Specialist Seaman Apprentice Kelly M.
        Agee/Released)PHILIPPINE SEA (Aug. 17, 2013) An
        F/A-18E Super Hornet from the "Dambusters" of Strike
        Fighter Squadron (VFA) 195 takes off from the flight deck of the
        U.S. Navy's forward-deployed aircraft carrier USS George
        Washington (CVN 73). George Washington and its embarked air
        wing, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5, provide a combat-ready force
        that protects and defends the collective maritime interest of
        the U.S. and its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific
        region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd
        Class Trevor Welsh/RELEASED)
GULF OF OMAN (Aug. 5, 2013) An
        F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Blue Diamonds of Strike Fighter
        Squadron (VFA) 146 prepares to land on the flight deck of the
        aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). The Nimitz Carrier Strike
        Group is deployed to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility
        conducting maritime security operations, theater security
        cooperation efforts and support missions for Operation Enduring
        Freedom. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist
        Seaman Apprentice Kelly M. Agee/Released)
MISSION

The F/A-18 Hornet, an all-weather aircraft, is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support.

DESCRIPTION

All-weather fighter and attack aircraft. The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. With its excellent fighter and self-defense capabilities, the F/A-18 at the same time increases strike mission survivability. F/A-18 Hornets are currently operating from air stations world-wide. The Hornet is used for strike missions by seven foreign customers including Canada, Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.

BACKGROUND

The F/A-18 demonstrated its capabilities and versatility during Operation Desert Storm, shooting down enemy fighters and subsequently bombing enemy targets with the same aircraft on the same mission, and breaking all records for tactical aircraft in availability, reliability, and maintainability.

Hornets taking direct hits from surface-to-air missiles, recovering successfully, being repaired quickly, and flying again the next day proved the aircraft's survivability. The F/A-18 is a twin engine, mid-wing, multi-mission tactical aircraft. The F/A-18A and C are single seat aircraft. The F/A-18B and D are dual-seaters incorporating a Weapon Systems Officer in the back seat. The B model is used primarily for training, while the D model is the current Marine Corps aircraft for attack, tactical air control, forward air control and reconnaissance squadrons.

All F/A-18s can be configured quickly to perform either fighter or attack roles or both, through selected use of external equipment to accomplish specific missions. This "force multiplier" capability gives the operational commander more flexibility in employing tactical aircraft in a rapidly changing battle scenario. The fighter missions are primarily fighter escort and fleet air defense; while the attack missions are force projection, interdiction, and close and deep air support.

The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a block upgrade in 1987 incorporating provisions for employing updated missiles and jamming devices against enemy ordnance. C and D models delivered since 1989 also include an improved night attack capability.

The newer, and larger, F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet has built on the proven effectiveness of the A through D models. The E model is a single seat aircraft, while the F model is a dual-seat aircraft incorporating a Weapon Systems Officer in the back seat. The Navy's newest strike-fighter provides aircrew the capability and performance necessary to face 21st century threats.




F/A-18 E/F SPECIFICATIONS
Length: 60 feet, 2 inches
Height: 16 feet
Wingspan: 42 feet, 10 inches
Empty Weight: 31,500-32,000 lbs. 

Max Gross Take Off Weight: 66,000 lbs.
Airspeed: Mach 1.7+
Ceiling: 50,000+ feet
Range: Combat (clean plus 2 AIM-9s) 1,275 NM. Ferry (2 AIM-9s, and four 480 gallon external tanks) 1,660 NM.
F/A-18A-D SPECIFICATIONS
Length: 56 feet
Height: 15 feet, 3 inches
Wingspan: 37 feet, 6 inches

Empty Weight: 24,000-25,000 lbs.
Max Gross Take Off Weight: 51,900 lbs.
Airspeed: Mach 1.7+
Ceiling: 50,000+ feet
Range: Combat (clean with 2 AIM-9s) 1,089 NM. Ferry (2 AIM-9s and three 330 gallon external tanks) 1,546 NM.
F/A-18 side-by-sideF/A-18C
        3-viewF/A-18 E/F 3-view




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COMMANDER STRIKE FIGHTER WING, U. S. PACIFIC FLEET

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