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Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet


Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype


Aviation / Aerospace

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Image from official Boeing Company marketing material.
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Image from official Boeing Company marketing material.
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Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Production Permitted.

Boeing is offering its Advanced Super Hornet as an interim solution pending the full-operational status arrival of the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II system.



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 1/10/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
Seeking to fill the void now presented by the expected delay of the F-35 Lightning II strike fighting into United States naval service, Boeing has taken to a private venture to produce a "stealthified" version of its excellent carrier-based F/A-18E/F "Super Hornet" series under the project designation of "Advanced Super Hornet". The type will feature modular components retrofitted to the existing Super Hornet airframe in an attempt to lower its radar signature and overall profile while being a budget conscious solution to current USN needs. Key to the changes will be implementation of an enclosed weapons pod under the fuselage, use of Conformal Fuel Tanks (CFTs) and an all new "skin" coating along surfaces. On the whole, the airframe will remain largely the same and compatible with all current hardware and software systems in use. As such, it is expected that the Advanced Super Hornet will received some serious attention from the United States Navy and Super Hornet operators from around the world.

Considering that the USMC is expected to achieve operational levels with their F-35s not until 2015 with the USAF following in 2016, the USN - and its more complex requirements and arrangements - is pushing for full operational capability as far into the future as 2018 - leaving a noticeable gap between now and then. As it stands, the F/A-18 series is an experienced and proven flight system and simply modifying the type for modern service would seem a tempting choice for the USN while awaiting their more technology-laden airplane.

Boeing expects the revised Super Hornet to begin flight testing in the middle (or late) of 2013. The United States Navy is actively backing the Boeing initiative through its operations department (OPNAV) and has leased a USN Super Hornet production model to Boeing for the work. Initial flight evaluations with the conversion kits in place will take place at Boeing's St. Louis facility in Missouri and then, later, at the USN's Patuxent River NAS in Maryland. The test program is designed as a data-gathering effort to evaluate the feasibility of a "stealth" Super Hornet which would also extend the service life of this stalwart aircraft considerably (it is already expected to serve up until 2040). The base Super Hornet does field some inherent stealth capabilities though its external weapons loadout compromise further efforts - hence the development of a weapons pod to contain munitions until fired. The weapons pod will lay under the center fuselage and house up to four missiles (or similar stores). The conformal fuel tanks will not only retard the airframe's low already signature but also increase the base Super Hornet's combat radius from the standard 390 nautical miles to approximately 510 nautical miles. The cockpits will be slightly reworked to include increased-area touchscreen displays and projected engines will be uprated General Electric F414 turbofans.

The edits to the Super Hornet through the Advanced Super Hornet initiative may also be in contention for modifying the existing fleet of EA-18G Growler carrier-based Electronic Warfare Aircraft (EWA).

Currently, only two nations operate Super Hornets - the United States and Australia. The aircraft is under consideration with Canada, Bulgaria, Greece, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.


Specifications



Year:
2015
Status
Cancelled
Crew
1 or 2
[ 1 Units ] :
Boeing Company - USA
National flag of United States United States (possible)
- Fighter
- Interception
- Ground Attack
- Navy / Maritime
- X-Plane / Developmental
Length:
60.07 ft (18.31 m)
Width:
44.69 ft (13.62 m)
Height:
16.01 ft (4.88 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet production model)
Empty Weight:
32,077 lb (14,550 kg)
MTOW:
66,139 lb (30,000 kg)
(Diff: +34,061lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet production model)
2 x General Electric F414 turbofan engines developing up to 17,000lb of thrust each.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet production model)
Max Speed:
1,193 mph (1,920 kph; 1,037 kts)
Service Ceiling:
49,213 feet (15,000 m; 9.32 miles)
Max Range:
587 miles (945 km; 510 nm)
Rate-of-Climb:
45,000 ft/min (13,716 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
STANDARD:
1 x 20mm M61 Vulcan Gatling gun

OPTIONAL:
Underfuselage centerline weapons pod housing 2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM medium range air-to-air missiles and 2 x AGM-154 Joint Standoff glide bombs, drop bombs, guided bombs or similar arrangement. Pod can be removed and all original eleven hardpoints can be used for up to 17,750lb of external ordnance.
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet production model)
F/A-18 "Super Hornet" - Base Series Designation; two-seat strike platform; based on the single-seat F/A-18 Hornet carrier-based strike fighter.
F/A-18E "Super Hornet" - Single-seat variant
F/A-18F "Super Hornet" - Twin-Seat Variant
F/A-18E/F "Advanced Super Hornet" - Project Designation for modified stealthy F/A-18E/F model; centerline weapons pod; conformal fuel tanks; revised cockpit intrumentation; conformal infrared Search-and-Track sensor equipment; retains all of the existing F/A-18E/F combat capabilities.
Cockpit image of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet
(Cockpit image represents the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet production model)
General Assessment
Firepower  
Performance  
Survivability  
Versatility  
Impact  


Values are derrived from a variety of categories related to the design, overall function, and historical influence of this aircraft in aviation history.
Overall Rating
The overall rating takes into account over 60 individual factors related to this aircraft entry. The rating is out of a possible 100.
80
Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 1200mph
Lo: 600mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (1,193mph).

Graph average of 900 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
NYC
 
  LDN
LDN
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MSK
MSK
 
  TKY
TKY
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet operational range when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Span
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Showcasing era cross-over of this aircraft design.
Unit Production (1)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
1
1

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Max Altitude Visualization
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