Two U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornets completed multiple ski-jumps, roll-in, and fly-in arrestments, as well as performance flights, in a variety of weights in the air-to-air, air-to-ground, and air-to-surface configurations, meeting the Indian Navy test requirements.
The tests were aimed at showing the Super Hornet’s ability to effectively and safely operate off Indian Navy STOBAR (Short Take-Off But Arrested Recovery) aircraft carriers, such as the INS Vikramaditya and the under-construction INS Vikrant, complementing its MiG-29K Fulcrums.
“The Boeing team was privileged to showcase the F/A-18 Super Hornet’s compatibility with Indian carriers in Goa. As the most advanced frontline multi-role naval fighter, the F/A-18 Super Hornet is one of the world’s most proven and affordable multi-role fighters and continues to evolve with the development of the next-generation Block III capability which will be game-changing for India.”
“With the Super Hornet Block III, the Indian Navy would not only get the most advanced platform but would also benefit from tactics, upgrades, and knowledge related to the naval aviation ecosystem that the U.S. Navy offers,” he added.
The tests followed eight ski-jumps in various weights and configurations during previous tests held at Naval Air Station (NAS) Patuxent River in Maryland in late 2020 that demonstrated the Super Hornet’s ability to operate from a short takeoff but arrested recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carrier.
In January, the Indian Navy carried out flight trials of the Rafale maritime fighter aircraft.
The Indian Navy plans to procure a batch of fighter jets for IAC Vikrant that is likely to be commissioned in August.
Over four years ago, the Indian Navy initiated the process to acquire 57 multi-role combat aircraft for its aircraft carrier.
Four planes were in contention for the deal which included Rafale (Dassault, France), F-18 Super Hornet (Boeing, US), MIG-29K (Russia), and Gripen (Saab, Sweden).
At present, the Indian Navy operates Russian-origin MiG-29K fighters from its sole aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya.