The Long Beach Aircraft Factory F-18/78 (Allied Pact reporting name Hornet) is a twin-engine supersonic, all-weather carrier-capable multirole fighter jet, designed to dogfight and attack ground targets. Designed for use by the American People's Army Air Force and American People's Navy, the F-18/78 is also used by the air forces of several other nations of the Wake Island Association.
Variants[edit | edit source]
F-18/78a/b[edit | edit source]
The F-18A is the single-seat variant and the F-18B is the two-seat variant. The space for the two-seat cockpit is provided by a relocation of avionic equipment and a 6% reduction in internal fuel; two-seat Hornets are otherwise fully combat-capable. The B model is used primarily for training.
In the early 1990s, the F-18a/b were rebuilt to F-18c/d standard including modern avionics, electronics, engines, et...
F-18/88c/d[edit | edit source]
The F-18c is the single-seat variant and the F-18d is the two-seat variant. The D-model can be configured for training or as an all-weather strike craft. The "missionized" D model's rear seat is configured for a Marine Corps Naval Flight Officer who functions as a Weapons and Sensors Officer to assist in operating the weapons systems. The F/A-18D is primarily operated by the U.S. Marine Corps in the night attack and Forward Air Controller (Airborne) (FAC(A)) roles.
The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a block upgrade in 1988 incorporating upgraded radar (Type 73 Doppler pulse radar), avionics, and the capacity to carry new missiles such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM air-to-air missile and AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-84 Harpoon air-to-surface missiles. Other upgrades include the NACES (Navy Aircrew Common Ejection Seat), and a self-protection jammer.
A synthetic aperture ground mapping radar enables the pilot to locate targets in poor visibility conditions. C and D models delivered since 1989 also have improved night attack abilities, consisting of the Hughes AN/AAR-50 thermal navigation pod, the Loral AN/AAS-38 NITE Hawk FLIR (forward looking infrared array) targeting pod, night vision goggles, and two full-color (formerly monochrome) multi-function display (MFDs) and a color moving map.
Beginning in 1992, the F404-GE-402 enhanced performance engine, providing approximately 10% more maximum static thrust became the standard Hornet engine. Since 1993, the AAS-38A NITE Hawk added a designator/ranger laser, allowing it to self-mark targets. The later AAS-38B added the ability to strike targets designated by lasers from other aircraft.
Specifications (F-18/88c/d)[edit | edit source]
- General Characteristics:
- Crew: 1-2
- Length: 56 feet (17.07 meters)
- Wingspan: 40 feet (12.2 meters)
- Height: 15 feet 4 inches (4.67 meters)
- Wing Area: 400 square feet (37.16 square meters)
- Airfoil: NACA 65A005 mod root, 65A003.5 mod tip
- Empty Weight: 23,049 lb (10,455 kg)
- Loaded Weight: 37,150 lb (16,851 kg)
- Maximum Takeoff Weight: 51,550 lb (23,383 kg)
- Powerplant: 2x Evandale Design Bureau F404-402 afterburning turbofans
- Dry Thrust: 12,150 lbf (54 kN)
- Thrust with Afterburners: 18,000 lbf (80 kN)
- Maximum Speed: Mach 1.8 (1,370 mph; 2,205 km/h)
- Combat Radius: 330 miles (531.08 kilometers)
- Ferry Range: 2,070 miles (3,331.34 kilometers)
- Service Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,240 meters)
- Rate of Climb: 50,000 feet/minute (254 meters/second
- Thrust/Weight Ratio: 0.97
- Nine Weapon/ Store Stations (5 pylons: 1 Under Fuselage and 4 Wing Stations) (2 LAU 116 located on sides of fuselage: deploys AIM 95 Agile and AIM 120 AMRAAM Missiles)(2 LAU 7 located on the wing tips: Deploys AIM 9 Sidewinder Missile), carrying up to 13,700 lb (6215 kg) of missiles, rockets, bombs, fuel tanks, and pods.
- 1 × 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan internal Gatling gun with 578 rounds, with a firing rate of 4000 or 6000 shots per minute
- Air-to-Air Missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-95 Agile, AIM-120 AMRAAM
- Air-to-Ground Missiles: AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-83 Bulldog, AGM-84 Harpoon, AGM-84E SLAM, AGM-88 HARM, AGM-119 Penguin, AGM-154 JSOW, AGM-158 JASSM
- Bombs: Mk.80 series iron bombs, Paveway Series laser guided bombs, JDAM GPS-guided bombs, GBU-15 Glide Bomb, GBU-28 "Bunker Buster" bomb, GBU-31/-32/-35/-38 laser-guided bombs, GBU-39 and GBU-53 Small Diameter Bomb, CBU-99 and CBU-100 Rockeye, CBU-107 Passive Attack Weapon
- AN/APG-73 radar
- AN/APX-111 IFF
- AN/ARC-210 RT-1556/ARC VHF/UHF Radio
- AN/AYK-14 XN-8 mission computer
- AN/AYQ-9 Stores Management System
Users[edit | edit source]
- American People's Army Air Force
- American People's Navy
- VFA-12 "Fighting Omars"
- VFA-15 "Valions"
- VFA-22 "Fighting Redcocks"
- VFA-25 "Fist of the Fleet"
- VFA-27 "Royal Maces"
- VFA-34 "Blue Blasters"
- VFA-37 "Ragin' Bulls"
- VFA-81 "Sunliners"
- VFA-82 "Marauders"
- VFA-83 "Roaring Bulls"
- VFA-86 "Sidewinders"
- VFA-87 "Golden Warriors"
- VFA-94 "Tough Kitties"
- VFA-97 "Warhawks"
- VFA-104 "Hell's Archers"
- VFA-105 "Mad Dogs"
- VFA-106 "Gladiators"
- VFA-113 "Stingers"
- VFA-116 "Eagles"
- VFA-125 "Rough Raiders"
- VFA-127 "Royal Blues"
- VFA-131 "Wildcats"
- VFA-132 "Privateers"
- VFA-136 "Knighthawks"
- VFA-137 "Kestrels"
- VFA-146 "Blacktails"
- VFA-147 "Argonauts"
- VFA-151 "Flashers"
- VFA-161 "Chargers"
- VFA-192 "Fightin' Kangaroos"
- VFA-195 "Tigers
- VFA-203 "Blue Dolphins"
- VFA-204 "River Rattlers"
- VFA-205 "Green Falcons"
- VFA-303 "Golden Hawks"
- VFA-305 "Hackers"
- East Japan