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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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