The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F
Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, multirole fighter
aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The
F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F two-seat variants are larger and
more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C/D Hornet. The Super Hornet
has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air
missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried
in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured
as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.
Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super
Hornet first flew in 1995. Low-rate production began in early 1997
with full-rate production starting in September 1997, following the
merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super
Hornet entered service with the United States Navy in 1999,
replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006; the
Super Hornet serves alongside the original F/A-18 Hornet and will
serve alongside the F-35C Lightning II. The Royal Australian Air
Force (RAAF), which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter
since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging F-111C
fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.
The Super Hornet is an evolutionary redesign of the McDonnell
Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The Navy retained the F/A-18 designation to
help sell the program to Congress as a low-risk "derivative", though
the Super Hornet is a new aircraft. Both the Hornet and Super Hornet
share many of the same characteristics, including avionics, ejection
seats, radar, armament, mission computer software, and
maintenance/operating procedures. The Super Hornet is largely a new
aircraft at about 20% larger, 7,000 lb heavier empty weight, and
15,000 lb heavier maximum weight than the original F/A-18 Hornet.
The Super Hornet carries 33% more internal fuel, increasing the
mission range by 41% and endurance by 50% over the "Legacy" Hornet.
The empty weight of the Super Hornet is about 11,000 lb less than
that of the F-14 Tomcat which it replaced, while approaching, but
not matching, the F-14's payload and range.
Photos in the slideshow were
taken between August 2015 and December 2017. Apologies for the
large copyrights in each photo - this is necessary in this day and
age where photos are widely stolen and passed along as if they are