McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

F/A-18 HornetF/A-18F-18F/A-18C HornetF-18 HornetF/A-18CF/A-18D HornetF/A-18 HornetsF/A-18A HornetF/A-18s
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation).wikipedia
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Blue Angels

U.S. Navy Blue AngelsThe Blue AngelsU.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, The Blue Angels
The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations, and since 1986, by the U.S. Navy's Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.
The Blue Angels' McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets (numbered 1–6) are currently flown by five Navy demonstration pilots and one Marine Corps demonstration pilot.

Fighter aircraft

fighterfightersjet fighter
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation).
Versatile multirole fighter-bombers such as the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet are a less expensive option than having a range of specialized aircraft types.

Multirole combat aircraft

multirolemultirole fightermulti-role combat aircraft
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation).
A good example is the F-14 Tomcat versus the F/A-18 Hornet; the F-14 was envisioned originally for air superiority and fleet interception defense with some variants later receiving secondary ground attack capability, while the F/A-18 was designed from the onset for air-to-surface strikes with a limited capacity to defend itself from other aircraft.

General Electric F404

F404GE F404F-404
It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio.
GE developed the F404 for the F/A-18 Hornet, shortly after losing the competition for the F-15 Eagle's engine to Pratt & Whitney, and losing the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) competition to the Pratt & Whitney F100 powered YF-16.

Grumman F-14 Tomcat

F-14 TomcatF-14F-14A Tomcat
Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role. The U.S. Navy started the Naval Fighter-Attack, Experimental (VFAX) program to procure a multirole aircraft to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the A-7 Corsair II, and the remaining McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs, and to complement the F-14 Tomcat.
During Operation Desert Storm of the Gulf War, most air-to-ground missions were left to A-7, A-6 Intruder and F/A-18 Hornet squadrons, while the F-14s focused on air defense operations.

Lightweight Fighter program

Lightweight FighterLight Weight FighterAir Combat Fighter competition
That summer, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger ordered the Navy to evaluate the competitors in the Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program, the General Dynamics YF-16 and Northrop YF-17.
The U.S. Navy adopted a modified version of the YF-17 as the F/A-18 Hornet.

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

F-16F-16 Fighting FalconF-16C Fighting Falcon
That summer, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger ordered the Navy to evaluate the competitors in the Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program, the General Dynamics YF-16 and Northrop YF-17.
In the Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) competition, on 2 May 1975 the Navy selected the YF-17 as the basis for what would become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle

F-15 EagleF-15F-15C Eagle
Grumman proposed a stripped F-14 designated the F-14X, while McDonnell Douglas proposed a naval variant of the F-15, but both were nearly as expensive as the F-14.
Criticism from the fighter mafia that the F-15 was too large to be a dedicated dogfighter and too expensive to procure in large numbers, led to the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program, which led to the USAF General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and the middle-weight Navy McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

VFAX

FX (Fighter Experimental)
The U.S. Navy started the Naval Fighter-Attack, Experimental (VFAX) program to procure a multirole aircraft to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the A-7 Corsair II, and the remaining McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs, and to complement the F-14 Tomcat.
The Navy chose the "loser" of the LWF contest for its VFAX role as it was inherently more suitable to naval operations than the winner; it was redesigned to become the F/A-18 Hornet.

Douglas A-4 Skyhawk

A-4 SkyhawkA-4Skyhawk
The U.S. Navy started the Naval Fighter-Attack, Experimental (VFAX) program to procure a multirole aircraft to replace the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, the A-7 Corsair II, and the remaining McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs, and to complement the F-14 Tomcat.
The A-4's nimble performance also made it suitable to replace the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II when the Navy downsized its aircraft for the Blue Angels demonstration team, until McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornets were available in the 1980s.

High Alpha Research Vehicle

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 HARVF-18 High Alpha Research VehicleMcDonnell Douglas F-18 HARV
The Hornet's normally high angle of attack performance envelope was put to rigorous testing and enhanced in the NASA F-18 High Alpha Research Vehicle (HARV).
The High Alpha Research Vehicle was an American modified McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet used by NASA in a 3-phase program investigating controlled flight at high alpha (angle of attack) using thrust vectoring, modifications to the flight controls, and with actuated forebody strakes.

VFA-131

Strike Fighter Squadron 131Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-131)
In January 1985, the VFA-131 "Wildcats" and the VFA-132 "Privateers" moved from Naval Air Station Lemoore, California to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida to become the Atlantic Fleet's first F/A-18 squadrons.
Strike Fighter Squadron 131 (VFA-131), also known as the "Wildcats", is a United States Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter squadron stationed at Naval Air Station Oceana.

Northrop YF-17

YF-17F-17Northrop YF-17A
That summer, Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger ordered the Navy to evaluate the competitors in the Air Force's Lightweight Fighter (LWF) program, the General Dynamics YF-16 and Northrop YF-17. Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
In enlarged form, the F/A-18 Hornet was adopted by the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps to replace the A-7 Corsair II and F-4 Phantom II, complementing the more expensive F-14 Tomcat.

Supersonic aircraft

supersonicsupersonic airlinersupersonic jet
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation).

Kent Lee

Vice Admiral Kent Lee, then head of Naval Air Systems Command, was the lead advocate for the VFAX against strong opposition from many Navy officers, including Vice Admiral William D. Houser, deputy chief of naval operations for air warfare – the highest-ranking naval aviator.
He is best known for his work in driving the development and procurement of the F/A-18 Hornet.

McDonnell Douglas

McDonnell-DouglasMcDonnell Douglas CorporationMcDonnell-Douglas Corporation
Grumman proposed a stripped F-14 designated the F-14X, while McDonnell Douglas proposed a naval variant of the F-15, but both were nearly as expensive as the F-14. Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
Through the years of the Cold War McDonnell Douglas had introduced and manufactured dozens of successful military aircraft, including the F-15 Eagle in 1974, the F/A-18 Hornet in 1978, and other products such as the Harpoon and Tomahawk missiles.

Carrier Air Wing Fourteen

CVW-14Carrier Air Wing 14Carrier Air Group 14
Navy strike-fighter squadrons VFA-25 and VFA-113 (assigned to CVW-14) deployed aboard from February to August 1985, marking the first deployment for the F/A-18.

Northrop Corporation

NorthropNorthrop AircraftNorthrop Aircraft Corporation
Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter's YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
Nevertheless, the YF-17 Cobra was modified with help from McDonnell Douglas to become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet in order to fill a similar lightweight design competition for the US Navy.

VFA-125

VA-125Strike Fighter Squadron 125Attack Squadron 125 (U.S. Navy)
Following trials and operational testing by VX-4 and VX-5, Hornets began to fill the Fleet Replacement Squadrons VFA-125, VFA-106, and VMFAT-101, where pilots are introduced to the F/A-18.
The VFA-125 "Rough Raiders" were established on 13 November 1980 at NAS Lemoore, California, becoming the Navy's first F/A-18 squadron.

M61 Vulcan

Vulcan cannonM61A1Vulcan
It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20-mm M61 Vulcan cannon.
It was also adopted as standard in the "teen"-series air superiority fighters, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon and McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.

McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet

CF-18 HornetCF-18CF-188 Hornet
The Canadian Forces Air Command ordered 98 A models (Canadian designation CF-188A/CF-18A) and 40 B models (designation CF-188B/CF-18B).
The McDonnell Douglas CF-18 Hornet (official military designation CF-188) is a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) fighter aircraft, based on the American McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter.

Mark I. Fox

On 17 January, the first day of the war, U.S. Navy pilots Lieutenant Commander Mark I. Fox and his wingman, Lieutenant Nick Mongilio were sent from in the Red Sea to bomb an airfield in southwestern Iraq.
During his career, Fox has deployed from both coasts in five fleet tours, flying the A-7E Corsair II and F/A-18 Hornet in over 100 combat and contingency missions off the coasts of Lebanon and Libya, and over the Balkans and Iraq.

Grumman A-6 Intruder

A-6 IntruderA-6E IntruderGrumman A-6E Intruder
Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.
The Intruder remained in service for a few more years before being retired in favor of the LANTIRN-equipped F-14D Tomcat, which was in turn replaced by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in the U.S. Navy and the twin-seat F/A-18D Hornet in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Leading-edge extension

leading edge extensionleading edge extensionsleading edge root extension
The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading-edge extensions.
The F/A-18 Hornet has especially large examples, as does the Sukhoi Su-27 and the CAC/PAC JF-17 Thunder.

No. 75 Squadron RAAF

No. 75 SquadronNos. 7575 Squadron
In 2003, 75 Squadron deployed 14 F/A-18s to Qatar as part of Operation Falconer and these aircraft saw action during the invasion of Iraq.
The squadron was re-equipped with F/A-18 Hornet fighters and moved to RAAF Base Tindal in 1988.