Two-Seat F/A-18F Flown To NAS Fallon In Nevada
The commander of Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center (NSAWC)
landed the unit's first F/A-18F Super Hornet at it's new home at
Nevada's Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon this week.
Rear Admiral Mark T. Emerson took custody of the two-seat Super
Hornet from the "Flying Eagles" of Strike Fighter Squadron 122 (VFA
122) at NAS Lemoore in California, and flew the aircraft back to
its new home October 21.
NSAWC currently has 23 A-D series F/A-18s, but this is the
unit's first F-series Super Hornet. In addition to a training
center, NSAWC is responsible for tactics and weapons development
for the fleet.
"This Super Hornet acquisition brings our flight line into the
21st century and facilitates the advanced tactics development
efforts by NSAWC staff," said Emerson.
NSAWC has also received two E-2C Hawkeye's and transitioned from
their SH-60F Seahawks to the MH-60S helicopters. The addition of
these aircraft to the flight line required the maintenance
department to make some adjustments.
"The whole process took about eight months, and there were a lot
of obstacles that had to be overcome. We had to ensure our folks
were properly trained to repair the different types of equipment
associated with the F/A-18F. This consisted of attending
'difference' training held at NAS Lemoore or NAS Oceana," said Lt.
Cmdr. Scot Husa, NSAWC maintenance officer.
"Additionally, we had to obtain the many different tools and
special test equipment required for supporting this platform."
The F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, which made their maiden voyage
aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in July 2002, may look similar
to the smaller A-D Hornets, but have been fitted with new mission
computers, fiber-optic networks, targeting pods, joint
helmet-mounted cueing systems and next-generation sidewinder
The Super Hornet's two F414-GE-400 engines are larger and
provide 22,000 of thrust, with afterburner giving the aircraft a
maximum speed in excess of Mach 1.8.
"NSAWC performs a significant amount of tactics development and
evaluation in order to support the fleet. Having the Super Hornet
increases the accuracy and credibility of NSAWC's tactics and
implementations of tactics and development into the fleet," said
Lt. Cmdr. Don Bowker, NSAWC assistant operations officer.
In the coming months NSAWC is scheduled to receive a total of
six F/A-18F's from various squadrons.
(Aero-News thanks Chief Mass Communication Specialist
(SW/AW) Jeffrey Wells, Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center Public