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The Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet is the US Navy’s frontline multi-role fleet fighter. Scaled up in size from the F/A-18A-D Hornet, the Super Hornet has more power, range and payload than its predecessors. The F/A-18F replaces the F-14 Tomcat in the fleet CAP/air defense mission and interleave with the earlier Hornets in the strike and night/all-weather strike missions. Classified as a generation 4.5 fighter, Boeing has continued development of the Super Hornet to create a Gen 4.75 variant that incorporates a number of improvements in avionics, low-observability, and engine performance. These improvements will keep the Super Hornet in the front lines to provide air defense as well as precision strike alongside the F-35 Lightning II as it enters fleet service.
While the Super Hornet entered operational service during Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF), these aircraft have provided day and night support of the fleet as well as for allied forces on the ground in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and beyond. The versatility of the airframe must keep the navy test and evaluation folks busy as new systems come online for the aircraft.