Boeing F/A-18 Advanced Super Hornet Improves Its Sting

Outfitted with conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod and signature enhancements, the now flight-proven Advanced Super Hornet configuration option will bring to the warfighter a total combat radius of more than 700 nautical miles, internal weapons carriage and a radar cross section that is 50 percent less than the current Block II Super Hornet.

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“These flight test results prove that the Advanced Super Hornet can outpace threats for decades to come under a program that is ready and able to meet aggressive cost and schedule requirements,” said Debbie Rub, Global Strike vice president and general manager. “This aircraft is a shining example of the low-cost, low-risk, customer-driven innovation that Boeing is known for.”

The conformal fuel tanks, enclosed weapons pod and signature enhancements are part of a menu of advanced options, including enhanced engines, internal infrared search and track and a next-generation cockpit, that domestic and international customers can choose from based on their capability and cost requirements. All advanced capabilities can be retrofitted onto existing Block II Super Hornets or included on new aircraft orders without negatively affecting the fighter’s performance. In fact, these advanced options will ensure high combat effectiveness for the aircraft for decades to come.

“What we’d hoped to see and what we did see was that it handled just like a Super Hornet – an already incredible strike fighter operating off carriers day and night around the world,” said Mike “Sting” Wallace, Boeing Test & Evaluation pilot for the Advanced Super Hornet test flights. “These next-gen technologies are going to give the fighter even more stealth capability for future battle scenarios and still offer options to carry external bombs or conduct surveillance-type missions after the first-day threat has been eliminated.”

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Advanced Super Hornet Enhancements

  • Longer range with low-drag, stealthy conformal fuel tanks (CFTs)
  • Enhanced low observability with enclosed weapons pod and next gen radar cross section reduction
  • Enables long-range detection of adversary stealth aircraft with internal Infrared Search-and-Track (IRST)
  • Significant acceleration and durability with Enhanced Engine
  • Advanced information fusion optimizes decision loop
  • Next-generation cockpit optimizes situational awareness and reduces workload

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