Block III Super Hornet

Boeing has developed the Block III Super Hornet to complement existing and future air wing capabilities. The upgrades have evolved to complement other U.S. Navy aircraft to effectively operate together in the air wing for decades to come.

F/A-18 Super Hornet

The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all weather multirole jet fighter that is capable of landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier.

Built for Air Superiority

The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet is the newest highly capable, affordable and available tactical aircraft in U.S. Navy inventory. The Super Hornet is the backbone of the U.S. Navy carrier air wing now and for decades to come.

The combat-proven Super Hornet delivers cutting-edge, next-generation multi-role strike fighter capability, outdistancing current and emerging threats well into the future. The Super Hornet has the capability, flexibility and performance necessary to modernize the air or naval aviation forces of any country. Two versions of the Super Hornet – the single-seat E model and the two-seat F model – are 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.

Feature Stories

Split in Two

Split in Two

September 27, 2017 in Defense

Boeing crews split two retired Super Hornets in two to study how heavy usage impacts the aircraft.

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10 Million Flight-Hours and Soaring

10 Million Flight-Hours and Soaring

September 6, 2017 in Defense

Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017 the global fleet of F/A-18 Hornets, Super Hornets and EA-18 Growlers reached 10 million flight-hours.

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Home Away From Home

Home Away From Home

June 7, 2017 in Defense, Community

The U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels, visited the Boeing Saint Louis site. The pilots met with Boeing employees and toured the factory where Boeing builds F/A-18 aircraft.

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F/A-18 Super Hornet

More stealth, range ... fighter

May 7, 2014 in Defense, Technology

Boeing test pilots showcase the Advanced Super Hornet and what its new capabilities mean for potential customers—and for military fighter pilots.

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F/A-18 Super Hornet

All hands on deck

January 28, 2014 in Defense

Meet the crew of the USS George H.W. Bush at sea to get a feel for what life is like aboard an aircraft carrier, and to see F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets in action.

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F/A-18 Super Hornet

Super Hornets on a supercarrier

December 13, 2013 in Defense

Hear from U.S. Navy pilots aboard the USS George H.W. Bush about the newest and most advanced tactical aircraft in the Navy fleet.

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F/A-18 Super Hornet

A Super Hornet's first flight

July 15, 2013 in Defense

Join Steve “Bull” Schmidt, a veteran Boeing test pilot, for the first production flight of an F/A-18 jet. He says he has the best job in the company.

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You can't run -- and you can't hide

April 9, 2013 in Defense, Technology

In a continuously evolving battle environment, the heat is always on. And the Infrared Search and Track (IRST) capability is taking full advantage.

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Super Hornet Technical Specifications

Empty Weight F/A-18E: 32,100 lb (14,552 kg) Max Takeoff Weight 66,000 lb (29,937 kg)
Thrust Each engine up to 17,000 lbs Carrier Bringback Payload F/A-18E: 9,900 lb (4,491 kg)
F/A-18F: 9,000 lb (4,082 kg)
Field Landing Weight Field Landing Weight Speed Mach 1.6

F/A-18 Super Hornet Customers

The first operational F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet squadron formed in June 2001 and deployed into combat aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in July 2002. In April 2005, Boeing delivered the first Block II Super Hornet, complete with the world’s first tactical multi-mode AESA radar, and it became fully operational at the end of 2007.

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Super Hornet Quick Facts

  • Every Super Hornet has been delivered on cost and on schedule.
  • The Super Hornet is the most cost-effective aircraft in the U.S. tactical aviation fleet, costing less per flight hour than any other tactical aircraft in U.S. forces inventory.
  • The Commonwealth of Australia operates 24 Super Hornets. Boeing completed delivery, ahead of schedule, in Oct. 2011.
  • In August 2013, Boeing and Northrop Grumman conducted flight tests with a prototype of an Advanced Super Hornet with conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod and signature enhancements. The successful flights proved the Super Hornet can outpace threats through 2040.
  • The first successful flight of the Infrared Search and Track sensor system was in Feb. 2014, and the U.S. Navy approved IRST for low-rate initial production in Jan. 2015.
  • As part of the FY18 budget was a requirement for 80 Super Hornets over the next five years as part of the Future Years Defense Program, including funding for Research Development, Test & Evaluation for Block III capabilities. The U.S. Navy added in additional 10 Super Hornets into the FY18 budget as its No. 1 unfunded priority.