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F/A-18E/F Super Hornet

Manufacturer: Boeing
Category: Multirole Combat Aircraft
Country: USA

Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Full-rate production began in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month.

The Super Hornet entered service with the US Navy in 1999, replacing the F-14 Tomcat since 2006, and serves alongside the original Hornet. In 2007, the Royal Australian Air Force ordered Super Hornets to replace its aging F-111 fleet. Assembly of the first of 24 RAAF's Super Hornets began in December in St. Louis, Mo.

Photo: Rusty Baker