The Indian Government Announced in April 2022, that the Indian Navy will receive two F-18 Super Hornets (a variant of the F/18 Hornet) as one of the main aircrafts on India’s indigenous aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant. The Dassault Fighter jet is also being considered as a primary aircraft for both INS VIkrant and INS Vikramditya.
Should the trials be successful, the government will consider buying the F-18 Hornet form the US government to supplement its fleet of aircrafts.
The details of the F-18 Hornet will be useful in the Science and Technology segment of the IAS exam
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Overview of the F/A-18 Hornet
The McDonnel Douglas F/A-18 (also known as F-18) is a twin engine, supersonic capable, multi-role combat jet which is a fighter and attack aircraft (thus the F/A acronym). It was designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop, both part of Boeing and Northrop Grunman respectively. The Hornet is also used by the Air forces from around the world for close air-support as well as for other roles.
The FA/18 was created as a highly versatile aircraft with avionics, cockpit displays, and an ability to carry a wide array of armaments. The aircraft can perform tasks such as escorts, air defense, destruction of enemy air defenses, close air support, aerial reconnaissance etc. Its versatility and reliability have been praised, but it has been criticized for its limited range and lesser payload options as compared to other aircrafts, such as the Grunman F-15 TOcat in the fighter role and the LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.
The Hornet first saw combat action during the 1986 United States bombing of Libya and subsequently participated in the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq War.
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Variants of the F-18 Hornets
F/A-18A: Original single-seat version, can carry the AGM-84 ASM, AGM-62 Walleye, AGM-88 HARM and the TV guided versions AGM-65 Maverick.
F/A-18B: Two-seat version of the F/A-18B, combat capable but mainly used for training.
F/A-18C: Improved version of the F/A-18A, can carry the AIM-120 AMRAAM, AGM-84E SLAM and the IR guided versions AGM-65 Maverick.
F/A-18D: Two-seat version of the F/A-18C, used only by USMC.
F-18(R): This was a proposed reconnaissance version of the F/A-18A. It included a sensor package that replaced the 20 mm cannon. The first of two prototypes flew in August 1984. Small numbers were produced.
RF-18D: Proposed two-seat reconnaissance version for the US Marine Corps in the mid-1980s. It was to carry a radar reconnaissance pod. The system was canceled after it was unfunded in 1988. This ability was later realized on the F/A-18D(RC).
TF-18A: Two-seat training version of the F/A-18A fighter, later redesignated F/A-18B.
F-18 HAR: Single-seat High Alpha Research Vehicle for NASA. High angles of attack using thrust vectoring, modifications to the flight controls, and forebody strakes
Frequently Asked Questions about F 18 Hornets
Is the F 18 Super Hornet still in service?
What’s the difference between an F 18 Hornet and an F 18 Super Hornet?
How good is the F 18 Super Hornet?
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