In the latest development Indian government has asked Indian Air Force (IAF) to consider twin engine Boeing Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F along with SAABs’s Gripen and Lockheed Martin’s F-16.
already talks are going on between Indian Navy and Boeing to finalise the deal of $8 billion (Approx) for the procurement of 57 fighter jets.
IAF needs almost needs 100 fighter jets to reduce the shortage. IAF has current strength of only 33 fighter squadrons which is the weakest in the four decades. And India’s indigenous build Light Combat Aircraft Tejas is still under development stage.
According to some media reports IAF wants government to issue Request of Information (RFI) in this regard to get the process of procurement started.
So Boeing’s Super Hornet F/A-18 E/F is in the contention of $15 billion deal. As reported by Reuters Boeing India President Pratyush Kumar said that Boeing committed to building the planes in India and had offered to help with India’s plans to develop its own advanced medium combat aircraft.
Super Hornet F/A-18 is already operational in United States (US) Navy.
The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine carrier-capable multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.
Lets us look at some main features of Boeing Super Hornet :
- The Super Hornet was first ordered by the U.S. Navy in 1992.
- Super Hornet F/A – 18 E/F is equipped with touch sensitive control display with large multi-coloured liquid display for revealing tactical information to the pilot. In addition to this it has two monochrome display and one fuel display.
- Length of this fighter jet is 18.31 metre with wingspan of 13.62 metre. Height of Super Hornet is 4.88 metre.
- It has a wing area of 46.5 sq. m
- Loaded weight capacity of super hornet is 21,320 Kg and take- off weight capacity is 29,937 Kg.
- Super Hornet F/A – 18 E/F has 2X General Electric F 414-GE-400 turbofan engines. Each engine provides dry thrust of 62.3 KN and 97.9 KN thrust with afterburner.
- It has 11 hardpoints for carrying ammunitions of varying size.
- Super Hornet F/A – 18 E/F has maximum speed of 1.8 Mach or 1,190 Miles per hour.
- Super Hornet has service ceiling of 50,000 feet and has rate of climb at 44,890 feet per minute.
- It has standard armament of 20mm M61A2 Vulcan Gatling Gun with 578 20mm projectiles.
- Ferry Range of Super Hornet is 1,800 nautical Miles with a combat radius of 390 nautical miles.