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Boeing to Fly Two F/A-18 Jets to India for Operational Demo

American aerospace company Boeing is planning to fly two F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets to India this summer to showcase them to the Indian Navy.

The demonstrations are expected to take place in May or June at the navy’s test facility at INS Hansa near the western coastal state of Goa.

The aerospace giant said that it is in talks with India for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, P-81, F-15 EX, and KC-46 tanker for aerial refueling, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities.

While making a sales pitch, Boeing’s India Business Development Alain Garcia said that the jet has been designed keeping the carrier operations in mind. 

“I really believe the F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III will be a transformative capability for the Indian Navy, the way the P-8I has been … and also the impact that it will have on the aerospace industry,” Garcia said, according to news agency PTI.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet can be accommodated from the navy’s aircraft carriers and is expected to meet or exceed the short take-off but arrested recovery performance requirements, a system used for the launch and recovery of a jet from the deck of the carrier.

India’s Interest in Super Hornet

India’s potential procurement was also a matter of discussion during the recent ministerial dialogue between India and the US in Washington. 

India has already conducted more than 150 simulation studies and ski-jump tests to find out whether the American jet is capable of operating from domestic aircraft carriers such as the INS Vikramaditya and INS Vikrant.

The country plans to procure 57 new carrier-capable fighter jets in the long run, while it is likely to procure 26 aircraft in the near future.

About the F/A-18 Block III 

The US Navy operates over 800 Super Hornets and EA-18 Growlers, which is the electronic attack version of the F/A-18.

The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet is equipped with advanced networking and open architecture design and enables the jet to work jointly with the navy’s P-8I aircraft to counter threats.

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