Boeing on Monday (December 21) said its F/A-18 Super Hornet can operate from a “ski jump” ramp, demonstrating the aircraft’s suitability for India’s aircraft carriers.
In a statement, the American aircraft giant said, “Boeing and the U.S. Navy proved recently that the F/A-18 Super Hornet can operate from a ‘ski jump’ ramp.”
The demonstrations, held at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, showed that the Super Hornet would do well with the Indian Navy’s Short Takeoff but Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) system and validated earlier simulation studies by Boeing, it added.
“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 war fighting capability to the Indian Navy but also create opportunities for cooperation in naval aviation between the United States and India,” he added.
— Boeing India (@Boeing_In) December 21, 2020
The test was witnessed by the officials from the Indian Embassy in Washington DC, according to Kanaglekar.
As part of Boeing’s proposed “By India, for India” sustainment programme, Block III Super Hornet aircraft can be serviced in partnership with the Indian Navy as well as India and US based partners throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft, he said at a virtual press briefing.
He further explained, “The multi role frontline US fighter jet’s latest variant Block III, which is on offer, will provide several unique advantages to the Indian Navy. First, our offer of two-seater and single-seater variants, both of which are carrier compatible, will allow the Indian Navy to execute missions from the carrier that benefits from having a second crew.”
“Second, Super Hornet can act as a lynchpin of the naval aviation collaboration between the US Navy and the Indian Navy that will improve interoperability between the two navies. Third, it will interface with P-8I aircraft and other assets of US origin to act as a force multiplier for the Indian Navy,” he said.