Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet Makes a Ski Ramp Jump, Ready for Indian Navy Carriers

The Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet is one of America’s current airborne heavy hitters. Having seen action over Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, the twin-engine multirole aircraft is also the new machine of choice for the Blue Angels, and chances are the Indian Navy will get to use them too, as aircraft carrier-based weapons.
Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet making a ski jump 1 photo
Photo: Boeing
India presently has two such vessels at its disposal, the 45,000-ton INS Vikramaditya and the 37,500-ton INS Vikrant – this last one is still engaged in sea trials. Both are capable of holding airplanes on their decks, but there’s one little problem: the runways are not equipped with catapults, and take-off is achieved by means of a ski jump ramp.

This configuration kind of limits the number of aircraft that can be used by the two, and tests are required to see which of the existing planes are up for the task.

Last week, Boeing and the U.S. Navy conducted a ski jump exercise using a Super Hornet. The test took place at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland and proved the machine can handle take-off from such runways. No details on the technical aspects of the test were provided.

“The first successful and safe launch of the F/A-18 Super Hornet from a ski jump begins the validation process to operate effectively from Indian Navy aircraft carriers,” said in a statement Ankur Kanaglekar, India Fighter Sales lead for Boeing.

“The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet will not only provide superior war fighting capability to the Indian Navy but also create opportunities for cooperation in naval aviation between the United States and India.”

The Indian Navy has not decided yet which aircraft its carriers will field, but in a bid to make sure the Hornet is the one chosen, the Americans are throwing in lifetime servicing together with U.S. and Indian partners.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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