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Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet


Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype


United States | 2015



"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: 01/10/2020 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
Flag of Image from official Boeing Company marketing material.
Firepower
Performance
Survivability
Versatility
Impact
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.

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Cockpit
While traditional jobs involve workstations, office desks, or cubicles, aircraft provide operators with their own unique, ever-changing view of the world below.
Cockpit image
[ Click to Enlarge ]
Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype.
2 x General Electric F414 turbofan engines developing up to 17,000lb of thrust each.
Propulsion
1,193 mph
1,920 kph | 1,037 kts
Max Speed
49,213 ft
15,000 m | 9 miles
Service Ceiling
587 miles
945 km | 510 nm
Operational Range
45,000 ft/min
13,716 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype.
1 or 2
(MANNED)
Crew
60.1 ft
18.31 m
O/A Length
44.7 ft
(13.62 m)
O/A Width
16.0 ft
(4.88 m)
O/A Height
32,077 lb
(14,550 kg)
Empty Weight
66,139 lb
(30,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype .
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.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet family line.
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.
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 1 Units

Contractor(s): Boeing Company - USA
National flag of the United States

[ United States (possible) ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 1200mph
Lo: 600mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (1,193mph).

Graph Average of 900 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
1
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
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Image of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet
Image from official Boeing Company marketing material.
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Image of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet
Image from official Boeing Company marketing material.
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Image of the Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet
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Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
INTERCEPTION
GROUND ATTACK
MARITIME / NAVY
X-PLANE
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet Carrier-Based Strike Fighter Aircraft Prototype appears in the following collections:
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