Monday, May 23, 2022

2 American Super Hornets in India as Boeing looks to showcase fighters for Navy deal

New Delhi: Two Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornets, on lease from the US Navy, have arrived in India to showcase their ski-jump from the shore-based test facility (SBTF) at INS Hansa in Goa and project their capabilities to operate from Indian aircraft carriers, ThePrint has learnt.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said Monday that the two aircraft arrived on 20 May and will be undergoing a series of drills starting this week.

The two aircraft have been borrowed by Boeing from the US Navy and have undergone mechanical and software changes for the demonstration. 

The visit by the Super Hornets comes close on the heels of a similar trip by its competitor Rafale M of Dassault Aviation in January to impress the Navy, which is looking at about 26 multi-role deck-based fighters for its aircraft carrier.

While the Navy currently operates the MiG-29K from the INS Vikramaditya, it is looking at getting a new set of fighters as India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier gets set to be commissioned in August this year.  

Besides the ski-jump capability, Boeing executives will also be briefing Indian Navy officers about the aircraft’s capabilities, specially vis-à-vis Rafale.  

The aircraft will perform ski-jump take-off with and without a payload. The payload will include two dummy Harpoon missiles.  

23/05/22 Snehesh Alex Philip/Print

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