F/A-18 Hornet, McDonnell-Douglas


F/A-18 Hornet

Twin-engined shipboard fighter, developed from the smaller F-17. Because of its dual role as attack aircraft, it is officially known as the F/A-18. The F-18 is a medium-sized fighter, heavier than the F-16 but lighter than the F-14 and F-15. The RF-18 is a recce version, without the internal gun and with cameras in the nose. The USN planned to replace a lot of combat aircraft by the multifunctional F/A-18. The F-18 has also been sold abroad, to Canada, Australia, switzerland, Spain, and others. In 1999 the substantially modified F-18E 'Super Hornet' entered service. This F-18E and the two-seat F-18F can be recognized easily by their rectangular engine intakes, compared to the rounded intakes of the F-18A. It's also about 30% bigger.

Type: F-18A
Country: USA
Function: fighter / attack
Crew: 1
Year: 1980
Engines: 2 * 7250 kg GE F404-GE-400
Max.Weight: 22317 kg
Max. Speed: 1900 km/h
Ceiling: 15250 m
Max. Range: 3670 km
Armament: 1*g20mm, 7700 kg payload
Unit cost: 32 million USD

Type: F-18C
Country: USA
Function: fighter / attack
Crew: 1
Engines: 2 * 7900 kg General Electric F404-GE-402 turbofans
Length: 17.10 m
Height: 4.70 m
Wing Span: 12.30 m
Wing Area: 38 m2
Wing loading: 450 kg/m2
Empty weight: 11,200 kg
Max.Weight: 23400 kg
Thrust/weight: 0.96
Max. Speed: 1900 km/h (Mach 1.8 or 1814 km/h 11000 m)
Ceiling: 15000 m
Rate of climb: 254 m/s
Max. Range: 3330 km
Armament: 1*g20mm M61 Vulcan internal gatling gun with 578 rounds, 6220 kg payload
Unit cost: 32 million USD

Type: F-18E
Function: fighter / attack
Year: 1999
Crew: 1
Engines: 2 * 97.9 kN G.E. F414-GE-400
Wing Span: 13.62 m
Length: 18.31 m
Height: 4.88 m
Empty Weight: 13387 kg
Max.Weight: 29937 kg
Speed: Mach 1.8+
Ceiling: 15240 m
Range:
Armament:



F/A-18A/B, C/D Hornet

Description: All-weather fighter and attack aircraft. The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. With its excellent fighter and self-defense capabilities, the F/A-18 at the same time increases strike mission survivability and supplements the F-14 Tomcat in fleet air defense. F/A-18 Hornets are currently operating in 37 tactical squadrons from air stations world-wide, and from 10 aircraft carriers. It is proudly flown by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron.

Features: The F/A-18 Hornet, an all-weather aircraft, is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support.

Background: The F/A-18 demonstrated its capabilities and versatility during Operation Desert Storm, shooting down enemy fighters and subsequently bombing enemy targets with the same aircraft on the same mission, and breaking all records for Tactical aircraft in availability, reliability, and maintainability. The aircraft's survivability was proven by Hornets taking direct hits from surface-to-air missiles, recovering successfully, being repaired quickly, and flying again the next day. The F/A-18 is a twin engine, mid-wing, multi-mission tactical aircraft. The F/A-18A and C are single seat aircraft. The F/A-18B and D are dual-seaters. The B model is used primarily for training, while the D model is the current Navy aircraft for attack, tactical air control, forward air control and reconnaissance squadrons. The newest models, the E and F were rolled out at McDonnell Douglas on Sept. 17, 1995, and are currently undergoing further testing at the Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland. The E is a single seat while the F is a two-seater.

All F/A-18s can be configured quickly to perform either fighter or attack roles or both, through selected use of external equipment to accomplish specific missions. This "force multiplier" capability gives the operational commander more flexibility in employing tactical aircraft in a rapidly changing battle scenario. The fighter missions are primarily fighter escort and fleet air defense; while the attack missions are force projection, interdiction, and close and deep air support.

The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a block upgrade in 1987 incorporating provisions for employing updated missiles and jamming devices against enemy ordnance. C and D models delivered since 1989 also include an improved night attack capability.

General Characteristics, C and D models

Primary Function: Multi-role attack and fighter aircraft
Contractor: Prime: McDonnell Douglas; Major Subcontractor: Northrop
Unit Cost: $ 24 million
Propulsion: Two F404-GE-402 enhanced performance turbofan engines
Thrust: 17,700 pounds (8,027 kg) static thrust per engine
Length: 56 feet (16.8 meters)
Height: 15 feet 4 inches (4.6 meters)
Maximum Take Off Gross Weight: 51,900 pounds (23,537 kg)
Wingspan: 40 feet 5 inches (13.5 meters)
Range (w/external tanks):
Fighter: 1,379 nautical miles (1585.9 miles/2,537 km);
Attack: 1,333 nautical miles (1532.9 miles/2,453 km)
Ceiling: 50,000+ feet
Speed: Mach 1.7+
Crew:
A,C and E models: One
B,D and F models: Two
Armament: One 20mm M-61A1 Vulcan cannon;
External payload: AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Harpoon, Harm, Shrike, SLAM, SLAM-ER, Walleye, Maverick missiles; Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); various general purpose bombs, mines and rockets.
Date Deployed:
First flight, November 1978
Operational, October 1983 (A/B models); September 1987 (C/D models)

General Characteristics, E and F models

Primary Function: Multi-role attack and fighter aircraft
Contractor: McDonnell Douglas
Unit Cost: $ 35 million
Propulsion: Two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines
Thrust: 22,000 pounds (9,977 kg) static thrust per engine
Length: 60.3 feet (18.5 meters)
Height: 16 feet (4.87 meters)
Maximum Take Off Gross Weight: 66,000 pounds (29,932 kg)
Wingspan: 44.9 feet (13.68 meters)
Ceiling: 50,000+ feet
Speed: Mach 1.8+
Crew:
A,C and E models: One
B,D and F models: Two
Armament: One 20mm M-61A1 Vulcan cannon;
External payload: AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Harpoon, Harm, Shrike, SLAM, SLAM-ER, Walleye, Maverick missiles; Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); various general purpose bombs, mines and rockets.
First Flight December 1995

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