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Boeing to display F-18 compatibility with Indian aircraft carriers

The F-18 is in the race for the Indian Navy’s tender for 57 carrier-based fighter jets and competing with Dassault Aviation’s Rafale. File Photo

The F-18 is in the race for the Indian Navy’s tender for 57 carrier-based fighter jets and competing with Dassault Aviation’s Rafale. File Photo  

Indian Navy team likely to visit U.S. to witness the demonstration from a land-based ski jump facility at Maryland

Boeing will soon demonstrate the compatibility of its F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet to take off and land from the decks of Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers. A Navy team is likely to visit the U.S. in the first half of this year to witness the demonstration from a land-based ski jump facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

“Super Hornet Block III is fully compliant with and ideally suited for the Indian Navy’s carrier deck. Demonstrated in flight trials, it can take off from Indian aircraft carriers via ski jump,” Thom Breckenridge, Vice President of Strike, Surveillance & Mobility, Global Sales and Marketing, Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said at Defexpo. Boeing officials at Defexpo indicated that a demonstration would be held without getting into the specifics.

Extensive simulations

The F-18 is in the race for the Indian Navy’s tender for 57 carrier-based fighter jets and competing with Dassault Aviation’s Rafale. Boeing officials said they had done extensive simulations and it would be demonstrated to the Indian Navy when required. One Boeing official said the F-18 could land on Indian carriers without the need to change the arrestor wires.

Steam catapult system

The F-18s are currently launched by a steam catapult system on U.S. aircraft carriers and never operated from a ski jump, which is the mechanism on the INS Vikramaditya and also the indigenous Vikrant that is in advanced stage of construction.

The Navy currently has 45 Russian Mig-29K aircraft which fly from INS Vikramaditya and in future from Vikrant as well. While a third aircraft carrier is still on the drawing board, Navy officials said that once the Navy inducts the second carrier, there would not be enough aircraft to operate from both at the same time as all aircraft are not available all the time.

Recently, the indigenous Naval Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) made successful landing and take off from INS Vikramaditya and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has already outlined a plan to develop a twin engine deck-based fighter based on the LCA experience and it would be ready by 2026.

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Printable version | Apr 6, 2020 3:15:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/boeing-to-display-f-18-compatibility-with-indian-aircraft-carriers/article30766836.ece

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