Two Navy Boeing [BA] F/A-18E Super Hornets recently conducted several operational demonstration tests in India to show they can operate off Indian aircraft carriers.
The Super Hornets underwent several ski-jump, roll-in and fly-in arrestments, and performance flights in a variety of weight configurations at Indian Naval Station Hansa in Goa, India, the company announced on July 20. The goal of the tests was to prove Super Hornets can effectively and safely operate off Indian carriers and their foreign built launch and recovery components.
This is a sequel to similar tests at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. in late 2020. Those
tests focused on the aircraft’s ability to operate from the short takeoff by arrested recovery (STOBAR) aircraft carriers, which India uses (Defense Daily, Dec. 22, 2020).
India currently has the INS Vikramaditya, a former Russian Kiev-class aircraft carrier, and completing trials on the future INS Vikrant, the first domestically built Indian aircraft carrier. The Vikrant is expected to be commissioned later this summer.
India is looking to acquire 26 multi-role carrier fighters to serve on two aircraft carriers and is looking at the Super Hornet as well as the French Dassault Rafale. The Indian Navy previously bought 45 Russian Mikoyan MiG-29Ks to operate on the Vikramaditya
Alain Garcia, vice president, India business development for Boeing Defense, Space & Security and Boeing Global Services argued the Super Hornet Block III is the best choice for India since it is also used by the U.S. Navy
“With the Super Hornet Block III, the Indian navy would not only get the most advanced platform but would also benefit from tactics, upgrades and knowledge related to the naval aviation ecosystem that the U.S. Navy offers,” Garcia said in a statement.