Watch an F/A-18 Super Hornet Take Off From a Ski Jump Ramp
From popular mechanics
Boeing is testing the launchability of the F / A-18 Super Hornet over a ski ramp.
A ski ramp helps get a carrier-based fighter jet into the air.
The tests will help ensure compatibility with the Indian Navy's aircraft carriers.
Boeing is conducting an unusual series of tests that could end with the company's F / A-18 Super Hornet fighter in the Indian Navy.
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Boeing launches a Super Hornet from a ski ramp, a device that many navies use to take aircraft into the air without using a catapult launch system. If successful, the Indian Navy could order almost 60 Super Hornets.
Boeing India released a video about the launch of a land-based ski ramp over the weekend:
The aim of the tests is to ensure compatibility with the aircraft carriers of the Indian Navy which use ski ramps instead of catapults to launch aircraft.
Many foreign aircraft carriers, including those operated by Russia, China and the UK, use ski ramps. They are cheaper, simpler, and more reliable than the catapults used by the US Navy carriers.
The disadvantage? Airplanes launched using a ski ramp tend to carry less fuel and weapons, which limits their range and combat effectiveness just to get into the air.
India has an aircraft carrier in active service, the 45,000-ton Vikramaditya, which currently operates a marine variant of the Russian MiG-29K fighter aircraft. A second carrier, the 35,000-ton Vikrant, is currently being tested at sea. India eventually wants to deploy a force with three porters, but a third ship is facing budget difficulties.
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India is looking for 57 new carrier-based carriers, both of which will replace the MiG-29K and will operate from the new Vikrant. The new fighters would enter service by 2032, according to The Hindu.
Credit: MANJUNATH KIRAN - Getty Images
Boeing is setting up the F / A-18E / F Super Hornet as a proven one or two-seat carrier fighter for the Indian Navy. The US Navy has operated the Super Hornet since 1999, but has never operated it from ski jumping ramps.
The US is slowly courting India as an ally against a common enemy, China. India is in a position to bar China's access to the Indian Ocean in a conflict. An Indian Navy armed with Super Hornet would increase the prospect of closer cooperation between the U.S. and Indian navies, as well as the possibility of sharing logistics at sea.
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