The U.S. Navy received its newest combat aircraft, the F/A-18E "Super" Hornet
strike fighter, in a ceremony today in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton said, "the development process for
the F/A-18E/F is one of the first, and by far the foremost example of our
success in Acquisition Reform in the Navy." Dalton called the aircraft a
"remarkable achievement," adding that "in all respects this aircraft has been
on target: it is on schedule, on budget and underweight."
"The E/F development process is exactly how we need to do business," Dalton
said. "And I'm extremely proud of the effort of the acquisition team -
dedicated men and women who have brought us the Navy's newest tactical
Admiral Mike Boorda, Chief of Naval Operations said, "the E/F Hornet will be
the backbone of our future 'Air Arm.' It will be our mainstay strike fighter
tomorrow, and well into the future."
Navy F/A-18C Hornet strike fighters and USMC F/AD dual role fighters are
currently flying off the aircraft carrier USS America and Aviano Air Base,
Italy, respectively, supporting ongoing NATO operations over
Bosnia-Herzegovina. Hornets are also flying off the aircraft carrier USS
Independence supporting the United Nations no-fly zone over southern Iraq, as
well as aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and USS Abraham Lincoln, two aircraft
carriers now returning from operations in the Adriatic Sea and Persian Gulf.
Today's unveiling of the Super Hornet took place almost 12 years since the
first F/A-18 entered operational service in the Navy. The combat-proven Hornet
has built a reputation for being the safest, most versatile, reliable and
maintainable aircraft in the history of U.S. Naval Aviation. The Super Hornet
was designed specifically to extend the Hornet's long-term viability for U.S.
aircraft carrier operations. The aircraft is 25 percent larger and offers
longer range, greater endurance, increased weapons and fuel-carrying ability,
improved survivability, and substantial capacity for future growth.