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Boeing & US Navy launch F/A-18E/F Super Hornet using Ski-jump;Eying Indian Navy Contract

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Indian carriers successfully demonstrated new

On December 21, 2020, Boeing & United States (US) Navy successfully launched the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block III version using a ski-jump at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River, Maryland. The Launch showcases the compatibility of Super Hornet  to operate from Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) configured Indian Aircraft carriers such as INS (Indian Naval Ship) Vikramaditya & future INS Vikrant.

i.With this, Boeing has put Super Hornet in contention for Indian Navy’s Fighter Jets procurement.

ii.Ski-jump is an upward-curved ramp which allows aircraft to take off from Aircraft Carriers.

Key Points:

i.Super Hornet is capable of performing day/night strikes, fighter escort, close air support, maritime strike, surveillance, forward air control & buddy refueling.

ii.The Ability of F/A-18E Super Hornet to interface with the Navy’s P-8I as a “force multiplier” and also with other platforms under induction.

iii.As part of Boeing’s “By India, for India” sustainment program, the hornets can be serviced in partnership with the Indian Navy as well as India & US based partners throughout the lifecycle of the fighter jet.

iv.At present, Mikoyan MiG-29K is serving as  Fighter Jet of the Indian Navy.

Carrier-based fighters:

Carrier-based fighters basically have 3 categories – STOVL (Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing), STOBAR & CATOBAR (Catapult Take-Off But Arrested Recovery).

i.STOBAR – Aircrafts use their own power using a ski-jump to assist take-off.  Indian Carriers mostly use the STOBAR system.

ii.CATOBAR – Under this technique, aircrafts launch using a catapult-assisted take-off and land on the ship using arrestor wires.

iii.STOVL – Using this technique, STOVL takes off from a short runway & or takes off vertically if it does not have a heavy payload.

Recent Related News:

i.On November 18, 2020, Indian Navy received the 9th Poseidon 8I maritime surveillance aircraft from the United States (US) at the INS Hansa, Goa Naval Airbase.

ii.On October 22, 2020, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General MM Naravane commissioned the Anti-Submarine Warfare stealth corvette “INS Kavaratti” into Indian Navy at the Naval Dockyard, Visakhapatnam.

About Indian Navy:
Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS)– Admiral Karambir Singh
Integrated Headquarters MoD (Navy)– New Delhi

About Boeing:
Headquarters – Chicago, United States (U.S.)
President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) – David L. Calhoun