The Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is an evolutionary redesign of the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 A/B Hornet. The Legacy F/A-18 Hornet first flew in 1980 and met the requirement for a multirole fighter to complement the larger and more expensive Grumman F-14 Tomcat, serving in fleet defense interceptor and air superiority roles. The Hornet proved to be effective, but it was limited in combat radius due to fuel capacity. This would be corrected with the newer and larger F/A-18 Super Hornet design, which is now the primary fighter/attack aircraft used in the US Navy carrier fleet and has replaced both the legacy Hornet and the F-14 Tomcat. Additionally, the Super Hornet airframe design was used for the design of the EA-18G Growler, which took over the electronic countermeasures (ECM) role of the EA-6B Prowler.
About the Author
Ken Neubeck is a reliability engineer who worked on the A-10 production program. He is the author of several aircraft books and amateur radio books and is an avid photographer of military aircraft.