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New Generation of Air Dominance; Celebrating 45 Years of the Navy’s First Multirole Aircraft

Born out of necessity and innovation, the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18 Hornet introduced a level of aircraft superiority that had not been seen before and set the standard for future development of next-gen fighters. Now, celebrating the 45th anniversary of its first flight Nov. 18, the original strike fighter aircraft is affectionately referred to as the “Legacy.” Appropriately coined, the nickname encapsulates not only the cutting-edge capabilities of the aircraft at the time, but its place in history as the first in its class that would pave the way for future aircraft platforms. Before the creation of the Legacy Hornet, the Navy’s fighter air wing consisted of multiple aircraft, each with a specific skill set and mission. The arrival of the F/A-18 Hornet ushered in a generation of carrier-capable, multirole fighter aircraft that were all-weather and attack, designed for traditional strike applications and close air support without compromising fighter capabilities. “It showed a great understanding of what a strike fighter mission requires,” said Cmdr. Tim Tuschinski, Integrated Product Team Lead for Radar/Fighter Electronic Warfare in the F/A-18 and EA-18G Program Office (PMA-265). “It allowed pilots to move quickly and efficiently between the air-to-air combat mission and the air-to-ground mission; it’s the […]

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