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is a twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter
aircraft. The F/A-18E single-seat variant and F/A-18F tandem-seat variant are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet
. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air missiles
and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.
Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas
, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Full-rate production began in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered service with the United States Navy
in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat
since 2006, and serves alongside the original Hornet. The Royal Australian Air Force
(RAAF), which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging F-111
fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.
The Super Hornet traced its history back to the earlier 1980s, when an early version was marketed by McDonnell Douglas as Hornet 2000
. The Hornet 2000 concept was an advanced version of the F/A-18 with a larger wing and a longer... Read More