Swiss Air Force / Schweizer Luftwaffe

McDonnell Douglas | Northrop

F/A-18 Hornet

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation).
Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter’s YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps.
The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations, and since 1986, by the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

The F/A-18 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,034 knots, 1,190 mph or 1,915 km/h at 40,000 ft or 12,200 m). It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20-mm M61 Vulcan cannon.
It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio.
The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading-edge extensions.
The fighter’s primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses, air interdiction, close air support, and aerial reconnaissance.
Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.

Version: C/D

The F/A-18C is the single-seat variant and the F/A-18D is the two-seat variant.
The D-model can be configured for training or as an all-weather strike craft.

The Swiss Air Force purchased 26 C models and eight D models.
Aircraft were delivered from January 1996 to December 1999.
Three D models and one C model had been lost in crashes as of 2016.
On 14 October 2015, a F/A-18D crashed in France during training with two Swiss Air Force Northrop F-5s in the Swiss/French training area EURAC25; the pilot ejected safely.

In late 2007, Switzerland requested to be included in the F/A-18C/D Upgrade 25 Program, to extend the useful life of its F/A-18C/D’s.
The program includes significant upgrades to the avionics and mission computer, 20 ATFLIR surveillance and targeting pods, and 44 sets of AN/ALR-67v3 ECM equipment.
In October 2008, the Swiss Hornet fleet reached the 50,000 flight hour milestone.

Hugo Wolf F/A-18C full-scale training simulator, X-5099
The Swiss Air Force has also taken delivery of two F/A-18C full-scale mock-ups for use as ground crew interactive training simulators.
Locally built by Hugo Wolf AG, they are externally accurate copies and have been registered as Boeing F/A-18C (Hugo Wolf) aircraft with tail numbers X-5098 and X-5099.
These include a complex equipment fit, including many original cockpit components and instruments, allowing the simulation of fires, fuel leaks, nosewheel collapse and other emergency scenarios.
X-5098 is permanently stationed at Payerne Air Base while X-5099, the first one built, is moved between air bases according to training demands.

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McDonnell Douglas | Boeing F/A-18 A/B

McDonnell Douglas | Boeing F/A-18 E/F