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BOEING F-18 SUPER HORNET
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The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation). Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations, and since 1986, by the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

The F/A-18 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,034 knots, 1,190 mph or 1,915 km/h at 40,000 ft or 12,200 m). It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20-mm M61 Vulcan cannon. It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio. The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading-edge extensions. The fighter's primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses, air interdiction, close air support, and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role. The F/A-18 Hornet served as the baseline for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, its larger, evolutionary redesign.

General characteristics

Wingspan: 44'8.5''
Length: 60'
Height: 16'
Weight: 47,000 Ibs
Thrust: Dry thrust: 13,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each
Thrust with afterburner: 22,000 lbf (97.9 kN) each
Range: 1275 nm
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
Crew: 2

Performance

Cruise speed: 480 mph
Maximum speed: 1190 mph
Range: 1275 nm
Ceiling: 50,000 ft
Mission: Fighter / Bomber

Arnament

Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A2 Vulcan nose-mounted rotary cannon, 412 rounds[195]
Hardpoints: 11 total: 2× wingtips, 6× under-wing, and 3× under-fuselage with a capacity of 17,750 lb (8,050 kg) external fuel and ordnance
Missiles:
Air-to-air missiles:
4× AIM-9 Sidewinder or 4× AIM-120 AMRAAM, and
2× AIM-7 Sparrow or 2× AIM-120 AMRAAM
Air-to-surface missiles:
AGM-65 Maverick
AGM-84H/K Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Range (SLAM-ER)
AGM-88 HARM Anti-radiation missile (ARM)
AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)
AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
Anti-ship missile:
AGM-84 Harpoon
Long Range Anti-Ship Missile (LRASM), in the future
Bombs:
JDAM precision-guided munition (PGMs)
Paveway series of laser-guided bombs
Mk 80 series of unguided iron bombs
CBU-78 Gator
CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition
CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon
Mk 20 Rockeye II
Others:
SUU-42A/A Flares/Infrared decoys dispenser pod and chaff pod or
Electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod or
AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR Targeting pods or
up to 3× 330 U.S. gallon (1,200 L) Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for ferry flight or extended range/loitering time or
1× 330 U.S. gal (1,200 L) tank and 4× 480 U.S. gal (1,800 L) tanks for aerial refueling system (ARS).

Source-characteristics: www.public.navy.mil/airfor/Pages/homepage.aspx
Source-history: Wikipedia

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