An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Tomcatters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). George H.W. Bush is supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.
The Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet and related twin-seat F/A-18F are a twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft variant based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.
Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. The Super Hornet entered service with the United States Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006, and serves alongside the original Hornet.