Super Hornets ready to soar
5 July 2001
The first F/A-18E Super Hornet squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 115 at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, has been declared "safe for flight certification" following a series of inspections and review of programmes designed to satisfy Navy requirements for the aircraft.
The squadron, nicknamed the "Eagles," is set to train independently in preparation for its first deployment of Super Hornets with the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) Battle Group and Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 14 next summer.
Prior to certification, VFA-115 trained jointly with VFA- 122, the Super Hornet fleet replacement squadron at NAS Lemoore, to prepare pilots and maintenance crews for the arrival of the Navy's new Super Hornet aircraft. As new jets were received by the Navy, individual training was conducted on an "asset available" basis. Now, with six aircraft, a full compliment of pilots and a complete administrative structure, the squadron is capable of operating autonomously.
The Super Hornet is a multi-mission aircraft that can be employed as a fighter, a bomber or a tanker. The new jet has a tactical mission spectrum that spans from long range, sea-based air dominance to deep-strike interdiction. It is designed to carry every tactical air-to- air and air-to-ground weapon in the Navy's inventory, and is equipped with an enhanced radar system, as well as advanced on-board sensor fusion capability.
The Super Hornet is expected to replace the F-14 Tomcat in future programme years.
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