Boeing and the United States Navy recently carried out takeoff tests using a ramp runway to demonstrate that the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter can operate from a “ski jump” ramp. The purpose of the demonstration was to prove the aircraft’s suitability for India’s aircraft carriers.
The demonstrations, conducted at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, showed that the catapult-launched Super Hornet would work well with the Indian Navy’s Short Takeoff but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) system. In the STOBAR system, the aircraft uses the ramp to take off and arrestor wires on the flight deck to catch it as it lands.
“The first successful and safe launch of the F/A-18 Super Hornet from a ski jump begins the validation process to operate effectively from Indian Navy aircraft carriers,” said Ankur Kanaglekar, India Fighter Sales lead for Boeing. “The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet will not only provide superior warfighting capability to the Indian Navy but also create opportunities for cooperation in naval aviation between the United States and India.”
The Indian Navy is evaluating its fighter options. And the Super Hornet, with its advanced networking, longer-range through conformal fuel tanks, infrared search and track, and a new advanced cockpit system, is one of the options to purchase.
“This milestone further positions the Block III Super Hornet as a versatile next-generation frontline fighter for decades to come,” said Thom Breckenridge, vice president of International Sales for Strike, Surveillance and Mobility with Boeing Defense, Space & Security. “With its proven capabilities, affordable acquisition price, known low documented life-cycle costs, and guaranteed delivery schedule, the Block III Super Hornet is ideally suited to meet fighter aircraft requirements of customers in India, North America, and Europe.”
Currently, the Indian Navy is armed with the INS Vikramaditya aircraft carrier. Its first domestically-built aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, is scheduled to enter service in early 2021. Boeing’s advanced aircraft and services focus plays an important role in mission-readiness for the Indian Air Force and Indian Navy.