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Thread: F-18, Super Hornet and Growler

  1. #101

    U.S. Navy: Extending Old F-18s Will Reduce Fighter Gap


    Published: 24 May 2010 17:33

    Keeping its oldest F/A/-18 Hornets flying through 2020 is the U.S. Navy's main weapon against a decline in fighter numbers, the Navy's acting chief of air warfare told reporters May 24.

    The U.S. Navy expects a shortfall of up to 177 fighter jets by 2017 unless it either keeps older F-18s flying longer or speeds production of the new F-35. (U.S. MARINE CORPS PHOTO)

    The service expects a shortfall of up to 177 jets by 2017 unless it flies its old Hornets longer, buys more F/A-18E/F Super Hornets or speeds its purchase of F-35 Lightning IIs.

    With the F-35 program delayed by at least one year, the Navy is "totally focused, [airplane] bureau number by bureau number" on keeping its oldest Hornets in the air while hashing through other options as it crafts its 2012 Program Objective Memorandum, said Rear Adm. Mike Manazir during a press conference at the Pentagon.

    Manazir would not detail those other options.

    The Navy has 1,180 tactical fighters. The oldest ones will be retired by 2012 unless they receive service life extensions.

    The problem will peak in 2017; the exact number will range from 100 to 177 fighters, depending on whether the F-35 arrives on schedule, Manazir said.

    Manazir said he believes the Defense Department and Lockheed Martin will have the carrier-based F-35C ready for its first carrier deployment in 2017.

    Earlier this year, the sea service announced that it was pushing the F-35 Initial Operating Capability date back by two years to 2016.

    The service will start training its first F-35 instructor pilots on the C-model jets at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., in 2012 and stand up the first F-35 fleet replacement squadron in 2014, Manazir said.

    The Navy has yet to determine how many of its 680 F-35s will be carrier variants and how many will be F-35B short-takeoff and vertical-landing (STOVL) variants for the U.S. Marine Corps.

    "The Marine Corps is committed to an all-STOVL force," Manazir said. Therefore, "we are in discussions with the Marine Corps on how we would" integrate the two services' fighters on a carrier.

    "The F-35C has longer range, more cargo capacity, and is optimized for carrier operations," he said. "The STOVL [model] is designed differently and so it has slightly different characteristics, so we're in discussions right now about how you put those two together."

    The Marines' F-35s will replace their F/A-18 Hornets, which fly from aircraft carriers, and their AV-8B Harrier jump jets, which operate from the smaller amphibious assault ships.

    The press conference was convened to underline the Navy's staunch support of the F-35 program after months of speculation that the sea service wants to buy more than the planned 515 Super Hornets, instead of F-35s. Earlier this month, the service said it would buy the remaining planned 124 F/A-18EF Super Hornets and their EA-18 Growler electronic warfare variants, and no more.

    Last week, the U.S. House Armed Service Committee gave the Navy an eight extra Super Hornets on top of the 124 in the committee's markup of the 2011 defense authorization bill.

    Manazir also toed the Pentagon line on the alternate engine debate, supporting Defense Secretary Robert Gates' stance that the F-35 program needs just one engine. In last week's markup, the committee ordered the Pentagon to fund the development of the GE and Rolls Royce-built F136 alternate engine for the fighter.

    "No matter how many engines are procured for the airplane, the Navy will only deploy one type of engine for the F-35 that we take to sea," Manazir said. "That optimized our logistics and supply chains."

  2. #102


    SOURCE:Flight International

    Australia impressed by Super Hornet performance

    By Stephen Trimble

    The Royal Australian Air Force is on track to stand up the first Boeing F/A-18F operational squadron in December with two extra aircraft than originally planned and a new appreciation for the Super Hornet's capabilities.

    A fleet of 24 F/A-18Fs will replace the RAAF's General Dynamics F-111 on an interim basis. Delays to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in 2004 forced the RAAF to acquire Super Hornets as a stopgap in 2006. But the F/A-18Fs are due to be retired by 2021 as the F-35 is delivered.

    So far, Boeing has delivered the first five F/A-18Fs to 1 Sqn at RAAF Amberley, with as many as nine more jets arriving before initial operational capability is declared in December. The F-111 is scheduled for retirement on 2 December.

    Australian Department of Defence

    Despite the Super Hornet's short-term service plan, the multi-role fighter has already surprised the RAAF leadership with its advanced capabilities.

    "It's a little bit embarrassing for me," says Gp Capt Steve Roberton, commander of 82 Wing. "It is fair to say the jet has proven to be more robust and exceeded what we thought."

    Roberton pointed to what he considers the aircraft's singular ability to simultaneously track air and ground targets using an array of sensors, including the Raytheon APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.

    The RAAF intends to bolster the Super Hornet's targeting capability by integrating the joint helmet mounted cueing system (JHMCS) in both the front and back seat. The US Navy has only experimented with that configuration, and the RAAF may be first to adopt JHMCS in both seats.

    With a much smaller force structure than the USN, the RAAF believes it can harness the Super Hornet's full capabilities much sooner, Roberton says. Due to training infrastructure limitations, the USN operates the AESA-equipped F/A-18E/F Block II similarly to the Block I Super Hornet and classic F/A-18C/Ds.

    The RAAF, however, intends to operate the F/A-18F more like how the US Air Force flies the multi-role Boeing F-15E Strike Eagle, Roberton says.

    Although the F/A-18F has impressed, RAAF officials are disappointed the Super Hornet's AESA technology remains unable to perform electronic attack missions in the X-band of the electromagnetic spectrum, Roberton says.

    "There are some things the radar does which are not as far along the proposed flight plan that they have as we had hoped," he says. But "it's still better than anything we got".

    The RAAF also remains committed to buy F-35s as a permanent replacement for the F-111 and classic F/A-18A/Bs in its inventory. Roberton described the F-35's potential as "phenomenal", but also voiced a note of doubt.

    "I don't know how the [F-35] is going to emerge," he says. "What I do know is that the environment and the challenges that emerge in 10 years time are going to be different than what they are now. So we're speculating, I guess."

  3. #103

    Boeing to Feature New Super Hornet Cockpit Display at CANSEC

    (Source: Boeing Co.; issued June 1, 2010)

    OTTAWA, Ontario --- Boeing will demonstrate a new, larger cockpit display as part of its F/A-18 Super Hornet simulator at the CANSEC 2010 defense and security trade show. The exhibition will be held June 2-3 in Ottawa.

    The new display is a single-screen configuration that enables aircrews to view more battlespace information within a larger viewing area.

    "The new, larger display is an option Super Hornet customers will be able to incorporate as they determine specific capabilities for their unique requirements," said Mike Gibbons, F/A-18E/F program manager for Boeing. "This new display is one example of the evolutionary approach of incorporating ever-increasing capabilities into the Super Hornet, with low risk for customers. We continue to expand the Super Hornet's multirole capabilities with continued on-cost and on-schedule performance for our customers."

    The Boeing Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions. Boeing has delivered more than 430 F/A-18E/Fs to the U.S. Navy. Every Super Hornet produced has been delivered on or ahead of schedule and on budget.

    Boeing also is bringing the P-8A Poseidon demonstration trailer, which includes operator stations and a cockpit simulator, to CANSEC. A derivative of the highly successful and reliable Next-Generation 737, the P-8 is a long-range anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft. Other products being showcased at Boeing's booth include the C-17 Globemaster III airlifter, the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, and the ScanEagle unmanned aerial vehicle.

    Boeing has been a major contributor to the Canadian economy since 1919, generating approximately $1 billion in business annually. The company employs highly skilled workers in Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia in support of its commercial and defense business units. Canada also is home to one of Boeing's largest international supplier bases, with more than 200 suppliers in every region of the country, providing a diverse mix of high-value goods and services to Boeing and its customers.

    A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is one of the world's largest defense, space and security businesses specializing in innovative and capabilities-driven customer solutions, and the world's largest and most versatile manufacturer of military aircraft. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Defense, Space & Security is a $34 billion business with 68,000 employees worldwide.


  4. #104

    There's some pretty gnarly pictures of the Super Hornet on the defence website. See link.


  5. #105
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Any word on how the F-111 crews are handling the transition?

  6. #106

    Quote Originally Posted by Raven22 View Post
    There's some pretty gnarly pictures of the Super Hornet on the defence website. See link.

    Well I wrote it four years ago that condensation formed by compression from the Super Hornet's wings would replace the dump and burn...

    When the LERXs are compressing air like this it sounds awesome in the cockpit. Like a big growl.

  7. #107


    SOURCE:Flight International

    Boeing to offer F-35-like cockpit display for Super Hornet

    By Stephen Trimble

    Boeing plans to offer an F/A-18E/F Super Hornet with large-area cockpit displays similar to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as the company pursues new foreign sales from Canada to Japan.

    The cockpit upgrade for the Super Hornet is intended to equalise one of the perceived advantages offered by the F-35's multifunction, touchscreen display, which measures 8 x 20in (20 x 51cm).

    Boeing has evaluated a display with the same dimensions as the F-35, but found that pilots have preferred a larger 11 x 19in screen, says F/A-18E/F programme manager Mike Gibbons.


    The single display can be configured to digitally mimic the Super Hornet's existing cockpit layout, or allow pilots to overlay data from several sources on to a single screen, Gibbons says. The displays can be integrated into both seats for the F/A-18F.

    The technology remains in developmental form, but can be integrated in time to meet the timelines for any future sales in foreign markets, he says. Boeing is evaluating bids from undisclosed suppliers to manufacture the displays.

    The US Navy, however, has already rejected Boeing's overtures to retrofit the display on its fleet. Although Boeing believes the upgrade would reduce lifecycle maintenance costs, the service does not want to operate two different display technologies at the same time, Gibbons says.

    The new cockpit display made its public debut at the Navy League exhibit hall in early May. Boeing also showed off the new technology in Ottawa in early June at the CANSEC conference and exhibition.

    Boeing plans to offer the F/A-18E/F for Canada's requirement to replace its ageing CF-18 fleet later this decade. Canada has invested $150 million to participate in the F-35 development programme, but plans to stage a competition for the procurement contract.

    Meanwhile, Boeing is also offering the Super Hornet to buyers in Brazil, Denmark, India, Japan and Kuwait.

    The F/A-18E/F's first international buyer, Australia, has no plans to order the upgraded cockpit, having already received the first five of its 24 two-seat aircraft.

  8. #108


    SOURCE:Flight International

    Boeing willing to let Japan develop new deriviative of F/A-18

    By Leithen Francis

    Boeing, which is proposing the F/A-18E/F for Japan's forthcoming FX fighter competition, would be willing to let the nation develop its manufacturing capability through the joint development of a new derivative of the Super Hornet.

    If Japan wanted to further develop the Super Hornet, by coming up with a new derivative, then Boeing would respond positively, says Defense, Space and Security vice-president for international business development Mark Kronenberg.

    "We would want to come up with a package that helps them with their aspirations," he adds.

    Japan has yet to issue a request for proposals for the FX competition, but plans to buy 40-50 fighters to replace some of its McDonnell Douglas F-4s.


    In the early 1990s, Lockheed Martin worked with Japanese industry to develop the Mitsubishi F-2, a derivative of its F-16, but US law-makers at the time blocked it from transferring some technology.

    But Kronenberg says technology transfer, with regards to Japan, is less of an issue today.

    In the 1980s and early 1990s, Japan seemed to be "20ft tall", because the country's corporations were buying so many businesses overseas, but times have changed and US law-makers are now less wary of it, he says.

    When asked if it is feasible to manufacture 40-50 fighters in Japan under licence, Kronenberg says: "It depends on how much you want to pay to get that new manufacturing capability. I think Japan is willing to pay." He adds that Tokyo's long-term objective is to have the technological and manufacturing capability to develop its own fighter.

    Some industry observers predict that whichever company wins the FX competition is also likely to win in a subsequent FXX requirement. This is likely to seek over 100 fighters to replace some of Japan's older Boeing F-15s.

    In a separate development, Japan's nearest neighbour South Korea announced in January that it is studying whether to develop an indigenous fighter.

    Its government says that if it decides to proceed, completion of the first aircraft would be in 2021.

    Boeing would also be interested in assisting Seoul with its KFX indigenous fighter programme "if it was part of a long-term path", says Kronenberg.

    "We would rather partner in significant markets like Korea rather than compete," he says.

    Maybe longer-term some F-15SE technology could be applied, he adds. The South Korean already operates F-15Ks.

  9. #109

    Such a GREAT shot this one,just had to publish it!

  10. #110

    Did Abe___ You know I was going to say;

    "Did Abe really fly in one of these or is he being a ----tease?"

    But really its an unfair question... he is a ---- tease whether he did or did not.....


    Kung fu Panda. What can I say? The guy is brilliant.

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