Boeing India has offered a naval variant of the F/A 18 E/F Super Hornets multi role fighter jet platform to the Indian Navy. The Navy currently has one aircraft carrier (INS Viraat) in service and Russia is expected to deliver INS Vikramaditya by 2012.
India is developing indigenous aircraft carriers and the aim is to have a total of three Aircraft carriers resulting in two fully operational Carrier battle groups and an additional Aircraft carrier eventually in refit making India an operating Blue-water navy.
Dr. Vivek Lall, Vice President, Boeing Defense, Space and Security, India confirmed:
"We have responded to the RFP with our F/A-18 Super Hornet platform. We made a presentation to Navy earlier this year."
The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin-engine 4.5 generation carrier-based multi-role fighter aircraft. The F/A-18E single-seat variant and F/A-18F tandem-seat variant are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons.
Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding a buddy air refuelling system.
The F/A 18's are being operated by the United States Navy -- the Super Hornet achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in September 2001 with the U.S. Navy's VFA-115 squadron at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.