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A closer look at F/A 18 Super Hornets; their history and function

Posted at 3:07 PM, May 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-26 16:22:14-04

NORFOLK, Va. - According to the Navy, the two jets involved in Thursday’s mishap were F/A-18F jets, also known as Super Hornets. The Super Hornet is used as both a fighter jet and an attack aircraft. It’s a two seat aircraft that was first used in the 1980s; a larger and more powerful version of the earlier F/A-18 models.

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Checkmates of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 conducts a refueling with an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 during an air power demonstration near the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared King/Released)

An F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Checkmates of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 conducts a refueling with an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the Knighthawks of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 136 during an air power demonstration near the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jared King/Released)

According to the Boeing Company, the Super Hornet is a twin engine all-weather fighter jet that is capable of landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier. It is also being widely used right now in the war against ISIS.

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However, the aircraft has a history, in May 2015 an F/A-18 crashed in the Persian Gulf. That was not deemed an equipment error, the cause of that crash was the pilots situational awareness.

An investigation is underway after Thursday’s collision.

Both Super Hornets involved in Thursday's incident were assigned to VFA 211 at Oceana, known as the ‘Fighting Checkmates.’

We have been told they were doing routine training during the mishap.