Why the Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet Is Still One Dangerous Fighter
Even if she is a little old
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March 24, 2020 - by Peter Suciu for nationalinterest.org
In February, the United States Navy announced that it would cut production of the legacy F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, to instead accelerate the development of the next-generation carrier-based fighter program.
According to the service's newly revealed Fiscal Year 2021 budget request, next year's order of two dozen of the tactical aircraft would be the last in the program. This comes after Super Hornet maker Boeing won a $4-billion multi-year contract to build 78 of the strike attack aircraft through FY 2021.
This would bring to an end the F/A-18 program that began in the 1970s with the development of the McDonnell Douglas designed twin-engine F-18 fighter and attack aircraft. The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is the final variants of that original multirole fighter aircraft, and features a 20% larger airframe, 7,000lb. empty weight and 15,000lb. heavier maxim weight than the original Hornet.
The Super Hornet can also carry 33% more internal fuel, which can increase its mission range by 41% and its endurance by 50% over the earlier aircraft. Moreover, despite the increase in size, the F/A-18E/F actually has 42% fewer parts than its predecessor the F/A-18C/D.
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