Boeing to change Super Hornets for India

Boeing to change Super Hornets for India 11 February, 2020

Boeing plans trials to confirm that it's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter can operate from an aircraft carrier equipped with a skip ramp rather than catapults. The US-based firm announced that it plans to test Hornet with a ramp. Competing with many companies for India, which declares that it will purchase 57 fighter jets, Boeing can make its place in the Indian Navy with the launch of the ramp.

India in early 2020 operates just one carrier, Vikramaditya, a former Soviet vessel. The 45,000-ton-displacement Vikramaditya with its ramp embarks Russian-made MiG-29K fighters. A second carrier, India's first home-built flattop, is under construction and could commission as early as 2021. To fill out the air wing of the 40,000-ton-displacement Vikrant and an additional, planned indigenous carrier, New Delhi wants to buy 57 new naval fighters to complement the fleet's 45 MiG-29Ks.

The issue is not whether planes can launch from ramps, but whether they can launch while also carrying a useful load of fuel and weapons. Ramp-launch imparts less energy than catapult-launch does. That translates into a lighter maximum take-off weight.

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