F18 Super Hornet


The multi-mission F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” strike fighter is an upgrade of the combat-proven night strike F/A-18C/D. The Super Hornet will provide the battle group commander with a platform that has range, endurance, and ordnance carriage capabilities comparable to the A-6 which have been retired. The F/A-18E/F aircraft are 4.2 feet longer than earlier Hornets, have a 25% larger wing area, and carry 33% more internal fuel which will effectively increase mission range by 41% and endurance by 50%. The Super Hornet also incorporates two additional weapon stations. This allows for increased payload flexibility by mixing and matching air-to-air and/or air-to-ground ordnance. The aircraft can also carry the complete complement of “smart” weapons, including the newest joint weapons such as JDAM and JSOW.


The Super Hornet can carry approximately 17,750 pounds (8,032 kg) of external load on eleven stations. It has an all-weather air-to-air radar and a control system for accurate delivery of conventional or guided weapons. There are two wing tip stations, four inboard wing stations for fuel tanks or air-to-ground weapons, two nacelle fuselage stations for Sparrows or sensor pods, and one centerline station for fuel or air-to-ground weapons. An internal 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon is mounted in the nose.

maxresdefault (1)f18comp (1)Super-Hornet-Farnborough-2008

Carrier recovery payload is increased to 9,000 pounds, and its engine thrust from 36,000 pounds to 44,000 pounds utilizing two General Electric F414 turbo-fan engines. Although the more recent F/A-18C/D aircraft have incorporated a modicum of low observables technology, the F/A-18E/F was designed from the outset to optimize this and other survivability enhancements.

f414_01General Electric F414 turbo-fan enginesbugloadout22F-18 Super HornetThe Hughes Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infra-Red (ATFLIR), the baseline infrared system for the F/A-18 E/F, will also be deployed on earlier model F/A-18s. The Hughes pod features both navigation and infrared targeting systems, incorporating third generation mid-wave infrared (MWIR) staring focal plane technology.rtn_231015Advanced Targeting Forward-Looking Infra-Red (ATFLIR)superchart3353800846_48a50d2bd7_b3039-military_f_a_18f_super_hornet_wallpaper

Although 41% interdiction mission range increase may be the most notable F/A-18E/F improvement, the ability to recover aboard with optimal reserve fuel and a load of precision strike weapons, is of equal importance to the battle group commander. The growth potential of the F/A-18E/F is more important to allow flexible employment strategies in future years. If an electronically scanned array antenna or another installation-sensitive sensor or weapon system becomes available, the F/A-18E/F has the space, power and cooling to accommodate it. Although the more recent F/A-18C/D aircraft have incorporated a modicum of low observables technology, the F/A-18E/F was designed from the outset to optimize this and other survivability enhancements. The all-F/A-18C/D/E/F air wing brings an increase in capability to the carrier battle group while ensuring the potential to take advantage of technological advances for years to come.

26500333_nRjJ6-MThey sloped the outside of the air intake and used radar blocker materials in the inside to reduce RCS, or reflection, but it’s just a re-design with that aim, not a new design with low RCS as an aim from the beginning. (Source: Defense PK)ELEC_AN-APG-79_Illustration_lgAN-APG-79 Radar IllustrationPicture2IRSTsupradarcomparision0aoFA-18EF-vs-Flanker-1112833__f-18-superhornet_p

Features of the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet:

90% Common F/A-18C/D Avionics: Avionics and software have a 90 percent commonality with current F/A-18C/Ds. However, the F/A-18E/F cockpit features a touch-sensitive, upfront control display; a larger, liquid crystal multipurpose color display; and a new engine fuel display.
34 in. Fuselage Extension: The fuselage is slightly longer – the result of a 34-inch extension.
Two Additional Multi-Mission Weapons Stations: Super Hornet has two additional weapons stations, bringing the total to 11. For aircraft carrier operations, about three times more payload can be brought back to the ship.
25% Larger Wing: A full 25 percent bigger than its predecessor, Super Hornet has nearly half as many parts.
35% Higher Thrust Engines: Increased engine power comes from the F414-GE-400, an advanced derivative of the Hornet’s current F404 engine family. The F414 produces 35 percent more thrust and improves overall mission performance. Enlarged air inlets provide increased airflow to the engines.
33% Additional Internal Fuel: Structural changes to the airframe increase internal fuel capacity by 3,600 pounds, or about 33 percent. This extends the Hornet’s mission radius by up to 40 percent.

1168906Front seat 
SH_F_rear_smallBack seat
JHMCS-HelmetJHMCS Helmet
Maximum level speed at altitude more than Mach 1.8
Combat ceiling 13,865 m
Minimum wind over deck:
Launching 30 knots
Recovery 15 knots
Combat radius specification:

Interdiction with four 1,000 lb bombs, two Sidewinders,
and two 1,818 liter (480 U.S. gallon: 400 Imp gallon) external tanks,
navigation FLIR and targeting FLIR: Forward Looking Infra-Red

390 nm
Fighter escort with two Sidewinders and two AMRAAMs 410 nm
Combat endurance: maritime air superiority, six AAMs,
three 1,818 liter external tanks, 150 nm from aircraft carrier.
2h 15 min

USN_F18E_3Twenty four (24) Block II F/A-18F Super Hornets are being acquired as Australia’s Bridging Air Combat Capability to de-risk the transition to a mature New Air Combat Capability. The Super Hornets will provide an upgraded air combat capability for air-to-air, air-to-ground and maritime strike missions that will allow Air Force to retire the F-111 aircraft at No 6 Squadron by end 2010. The first of the new aircraft is due to roll off the production line in July 2009. On currents plans the first formation of F/A-18F Super Hornets will arrive at RAAF Amberley in March - April 2010. Six more will arrive mid-year. The remaining aircraft will touch down through 2011. Media Note: This image has been manipulated to illustrate what the RAAF F/A-18F aircraft will look like on delivery.

Material Source: FAS Military Analysis Network

Estimated Cost: USD67 million (2012) (Source: Wiki)

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4 thoughts on “F18 Super Hornet

  1. nonothai Post author

    As I mentioned the F18 is very costly to operate the Philippines is likely to chose the F16 as seen by Indonesia also with many islands as they are cheaper to operate. The US is currently trying to entice the Indonesians to order there latest F16V but I don’t agree as it is a very old platform which is at the end of any further development. However, Indonesia is likely to favor it as they are already operating the F16A/B and recently received 24 F16C/D any change of a new fighter would incur additional cost in training and spare parts. See earlier post https://thaimilitaryandasianregion.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/us-defense-giant-lockheed-martin-is-ready-to-provide-indonesia-with-an-offset-scheme-if-it-decides-to-buy-the-latest-variant-of-the-venerable-f-16-fighting-falcon-light-jet-fighter/


  2. Nicky

    That’s why I am all for the US in giving the Philippines the Legacy Short Hornets the F/A-18 C/D. At least they can take the legacy hornets and the US, Australia and Canada can keep the Super Hornets.


    1. nonothai Post author

      F18 are expensive to operate and maintain so I guess it won’t happen it is more like F16 which is much cheaper to operate and maintain and spare parts are easily available. The US has huge inventory of F16 stored.


      1. Nicky

        For the Philippines, since they are an island nation, they need two engines and I think the legacy F/A-18 C/D is more preferred than the F-16’s. Besides the US is already taking the oldest F-16’s and converting them to QF-16 Drones. They should go for the ones, the USMC & USN are using right now.


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