Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet, a fighter used by the US Navy, has demonstrated the ability to operate from the Indian Navy’s current and future aircraft carriers.
To demonstrate this ability, a F/A-18 fighter took off using a ski-jump platform constructed at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland in August.
A video of the test has been released by Boeing today.
The success of this test, conducted after simulation studies by Boeing, proves that F/A-18 Super Hornet, one of the many fighters being offered to the Indian Navy currently, is compatible with the Indian Navy’s Short Take Off But Arrested Recovery (STOBAR) aircraft launch system used on INS Vikramaditya.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III, Boeing says, will give the Indian Navy unique and differentiated capability in the form of an advanced, combat proven, multi-role naval fighter that is fully compatible with the Indian Navy carriers.
Unsatisfied with the performance of its MiG-29Ks, the Indian Navy has expressed interest in buying new fighters for its carriers. In 2017, the Navy had said it would buy 57 new fighters for its air arm. This number is now likely to be cut to around 36 because India plans to develop its own deck-based fighter and due to financial constraints the Indian Navy is facing currently.