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Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet

Photo ID 84807 by Brandon Thetford. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 166420
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.
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • First Flight: 1995
  • Initial Service Date: 2001
  • No. Built: 367
  • No. In Service: 367 (approx.)
  • No. of Hardpoints: 9
  • Crew: 1


2 x General Electric F414-400 afterburning turbofans at 44,000 lbf


1 x 20-mm M61A1/A2 Vulcan cannon
2 x AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM
AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-84 SLAM, AGM-84 SLAM-ER, AGM-88 HARM, AGM-154 JSOW
GBU-10/12/24 Paveway laser-guided, GBU-31/32/38 JDAM, Mk 82/83/84 GP
ECM pods, SHARP reconnaissance pod, rocket pods, mines


Length:60 ft. 1 in.
Wing Span:44 ft. 8.5 in.
Wing Area:500 sq.ft
Height:15 ft. 9.5 in.
Empty Weight:30,600 lbs
Max. Weight:66,000 lbs
Max. Ordnance Load:17,750 lbs
Internal Fuel:13,550 lbs


Max. Speed:1,190 mph
Cruise Speed:835 mph
Service Ceiling:40,000 ft.
Normal Range:1,200 nm
Max. Range:1,660 nm


United States (Navy)

Random great photos of the Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet:

Photo ID 36206 by Liam Paul McBride. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 166651
Photo ID 116973 by Peter Boschert. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 168463
Photo ID 125222 by Peter Boschert. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 165787
Photo ID 143643 by Russell Hill. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 166427
Photo ID 183919 by Hans-Werner Klein. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 166957
Photo ID 125964 by Peter Boschert. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 166803
Photo ID 71659 by David F. Brown. USA Navy Boeing F A 18E Super Hornet, 166655
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