More
    HomeMilitary2023 The Final Roar of the Super Hornet: F/A-18's Legendary 45-Year Voyage

    2023 The Final Roar of the Super Hornet: F/A-18’s Legendary 45-Year Voyage

    Published on

    spot_img
    AJ-113 / 166788 – Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet E” by Laurent Quérité is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    In a tribute to technological evolution and tactical superiority, the F/A-18 Hornet, a bastion of U.S. Naval air power, marks its 45th anniversary 2023.

    McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18 Hornet BuNo. 164218 – VFA-106 ‘Gladiators’” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    From its conception to its extensive operational history, the Hornet family of fighters, including the Super Hornet and Growler, encapsulates a legacy of aerial dominance and innovation.

    Boeing F-18 Super Hornet” by ‘The Wanderer’s Eye Photography’ is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Originally manufactured by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop Grumman, the F/A-18 Hornet redefined naval aviation with its unparalleled versatility. It seamlessly transitioned between air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, a capability that was gloriously executed during Operation Desert Storm.

    F/A-18 Hornet” by William A. Franklin is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

    “It allowed pilots to move quickly and efficiently between the air-to-air combat mission and the air-to-ground mission; it’s the flip of a switch,” noted Cmdr. Tim Tuschinski, reflecting the efficiency that set the Hornet apart.

    F-18 Super Hornet” by The best from aviation is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    The Hornet’s adaptability stems from the Energy-Maneuverability (E-M) Theory, which prioritized fast turns and energy retention over sheer speed and altitude. This design philosophy ensured the Hornet’s prowess in aerial engagements.

    McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18 Hornet VFA-106 ‘Gladiators’” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The pioneering digital cockpit and hands-on throttle and stick further advanced the fighter’s operational capabilities, laying the groundwork for future iterations.

    The Show in the Sky – 4 – F/A-18A/B Hornet – Parkes ACT – Australia – 20180317 @ 18:55” by MomentsForZen is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Though the “Legacy” Hornets have been retired from the Navy in spring 2023, the legacy continues with the Super Hornet variants.

    The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and the electronic-warfare-oriented EA-18G Growler have surpassed 11 million flight hours and are anticipated to be core elements of naval air power well into the 2040s.

    F/A-18 Super Hornet” by Jasen Miller is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    “Our team continues to move fast and take risks to support, sustain, and advance the fleet,” affirmed Capt. Michael Burks, underscoring the commitment to evolving the fleet to meet the needs of tomorrow’s warfighters.

    F/A-18 Hornet – Take Off” by frielp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    2027 will witness the cessation of the Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet production, marking an end of an era that spanned nearly three decades. The last orders from the U.S. Navy culminate in the upgraded Block 3 Super Hornets, which boast enhanced technology for combat readiness.

    Los F-18 del Ala 15 parten hacia el Tiger Meet” by Ejército del Aire Ministerio de Defensa España is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    According to Mark Sears, Boeing vice president, “there are no active discussions with the Navy about additional F-18s beyond these,” signaling the end of the production line but not the aircraft’s service.

    F/A-18 Super Hornet ‘Rhino’ Refueling Probe” by jurvetson is licensed under CC BY 2.0

    In the face of emerging threats and advancing technology, the Super Hornets are being retrofitted to meet future demands. The Block 3 enhancements include the formidable APG-79 AESA radar, advanced networking capabilities, increased computing power, and a life extension program to ensure operational readiness for the long haul.

    2017 TICO Warbird Airshow – F/A-18 Hornet” by Jeff Krause Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

    There is a service life extension program and radar signature reduction included in the upgrade of the majority of the current Super Hornet fleet to block 3. According to US Navy Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle in an August 3, 2021 US Naval Institute blog post, the Super Hornet upgrades will be significant.

    Mc Donnell Douglas F-18 Hornet (C.15)” by Ejército del Aire Ministerio de Defensa España is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

    “The Super Hornet remains a predominant aircraft in the carrier air wing and will continue to provide significant combat capability into the 2040s,” a statement by Rear Adm. John Lemmon emphasized the longevity of these aircraft.

    McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18 Hornet VFA-151 Vigilantes CAG Bird” by AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

    The Super Hornet keeps flying on, remaining smart, versatile, and at the forefront with its powerful wings, nine pylons, keen eyes, and two blazing afterburners.

    Relevant articles:
    45 Years Of The F/A-18 Hornet: A Look At The Family, Simple Flying
    A Look At The Last Of The US Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet Orders, Simple Flying
    18 Hornet Celebrates 45 Years of Naval Superiority, The Southern Maryland Chronicle

    Latest articles

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...

    The B-21 Raider of the U.S. Air Force Prepares for Deployment Despite Production Hurdles and Hypersonic Competition

    The B-21 Raider, the United States Air Force's new stealth bomber, is edging closer...

    More like this

    FN Five-seveN MRD: A New Era in Precision Handguns

    The FN Five-seveN has stood out in the modern firearms landscape for years, known...

    Raytheon’s Breakthrough: Achieving Milestones in the HALO Program

    The United States Navy is enhancing its offensive prowess and strategic vision by developing...

    Significance of Reagan Test Site in US Hypersonic Weapon Testing

    The US Air Force has garnered attention with the successful trial of a prototype...