Single-seat, carrier-based, multi-role fighter/bomber.
The Boeing F/A-18E 'Super Hornet' is the third generation Hornet for the U.S. Navy. Given the retirement of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in 2006, the 'Super Bug', as it is sometimes referred, will be the mainstay of U.S. Naval Aviation until the introduction of the Joint Strike Fighter. Boeing's fighter has been developed to fill the roles occupied by many different, older designs.
Despite the name, the F/A-18E/F have changed significantly from it's progenitors. New engines with 35% more thrust, new avionics, a larger air frame make for an advanced platform. The design is to not only replace the earlier F/A-18A/B/C/D's, now referred to as 'Legacy Hornets', but the aged EA-6B 'Prowler' fleet along with the Grumman S-3 'Viking' aircraft.
The U.S. Navy is the only operator of the single-seat F/A-18E, while the Royal Australian Air Force chose an interim buy of 24 dual-seat F/A-18F's to replace the F-111G. The U.S. Marine Corps has no plans to acquire the Super Hornet, but the USAF may to fill the gaps left from canceled F-22A purchases. Malaysia and Brazil have shown significant interest in the F/A-18E/F, but no orders have been placed as of this date. If the author were to build an air force, the F/A-18E/F would be at the top of the list.
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