The T-6B Texan II is a tandem-seat, turboprop trainer whose primary mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots.


The T-6B Texan II is an upgraded avionics variant of the T-6A Texan II and one component of the Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPATS) along with simulators, computer-aided academics, and a Training Integration Management System (TIMS). The joint program, of which the Air Force acts as the executive service, will replace Navy T-34C aircraft. The program uses commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) subsystems to the maximum extent possible. The T-6 aircraft-built by Hawker Beechcraft Aircraft Company is a derivative of the Swiss Pilatus PC-9 aircraft with a Pratt & Whitney PT-6A-68 engine, Martin-Baker ejection seats, cockpit pressurization, and an onboard oxygen-generating system. The T-6B upgraded avionics provide an all-glass cockpit using three 5x7 multifunction displays, head-up display, hands-on throttle and stick, dual redundant Integrated Avionics Computers and an open-architecture design to allow for future growth. The Navy's total T-6B requirement is 252 aircraft.

The T-6 entered development flight test in July 1998. The FAA approved type and production certification for the T-6A aircraft and production line on 30 July 1999. A successful flight test program and a successful Milestone III full rate production decision followed in December 2001. Both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy have since entered into a full rate production contract with Hawker Beechcraft for aircraft. In April 2007, the Navy began procuring an upgraded avionics variant of the Texan II, the T-6B, for primary pilot training. The U.S. Navy has received 140 aircraft to date and the system when fully fielded will be operational at two Navy bases. The T-6B achieved initial operating capability (IOC) in April 2010 at Naval Air Station Whiting Field, Fla.

The Navy aircraft and ground-based training systems will be completely supported and maintained by commercial vendors with intermediate maintenance provided for selected systems at the operating site.

General Characteristics


Primary Function: All-purpose jet trainer.

Contractor: Hawker Beechcraft Aircraft Company.

Date Deployed: First flight, July 10, 2009; Operational, April 19, 2010.

Propulsion: One Pratt & Whitney Canada PT-6A-68 turboprop engine; 1,100 horsepower.

Length: 33.3 feet (10.12 meters).

Height: 10.8 feet (3.29 meters).

Wingspan: 33.4 feet (10.18 meters).

Weight: Empty, 5,850 pounds (2,653.52 kg.); maximum takeoff weight, 6,900 pounds (3,129.79 kg.).

Airspeed: 270 knots at 1,000 feet level flight.

Ceiling: 31,000 feet (9,448.8 meters).

Range: Maximum, 900 nautical miles (1,666.8 km).

Crew: Two (instructor pilot, student pilot).





The T-45 Goshawk is a tandem-seat, carrier capable, jet trainer whose mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots.


The T-45 aircraft, the Navy version of the British Aerospace Hawk aircraft, was designed for intermediate and advanced portions of the Navy/Marine Corps pilot training program for jet carrier aviation and tactical strike missions. The T-45 Goshawk replaced the T-2C Buckeye and the TA-4J Skyhawk with an integrated training system that included the aircraft, operations and instrument fighter simulators, academics and training integration system. There were two versions of T-45 aircraft, the T-45A and T-45C derivatives. The T-45A, which became operational in 1991, contained an analog design cockpit and the T-45C was built around a digital cockpit design. All T-45A's have undergone the Required Avionics Modernization Program (RAMP) bringing all to a T-45C configuration. A Virtual Mission Training System modification that enables training of Undergraduate Military Flight Officers (UMFOs) in radar and navigation skills at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, which replaced the T-39G and T-39N, became fully operational in 2014. Planned future avionics upgrades include Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and Required Navigation Performance/Area Navigation (RNP/RNAV) which will allow the T-45 to meet the FAA's NextGen airspace requirements resulting in the continued ability to train student naval aviators for the planned life of the aircraft.

General Characteristics


Primary Function: Training platform for Navy/Marine Corps pilots.

Contractor: Boeing Company.

Date Deployed: First flight, April 1988; Operational, 1991.

Unit Cost: $17.2 million.

Propulsion: Rolls Royce F405-RR-401 turbofan engine with 5,527 pounds thrust.

Length: 39 feet 4 inches (11.98 meters).

Height: 13 feet 6 inches (4.11 meters).

Wingspan: 30 feet 10 inches (9.39 meters).

Weight: Take-off maximum gross, 13,500 pounds (6,075 kg); empty 9,394 pounds (4,261 kg).

Airspeed: 645 miles per hour (1038 km per hour).

Ceiling: 42,500 feet.

Range: 700 nautical miles (805 statute miles, 1288 km).

Crew: Two (instructor pilot, student pilot).

Armament: None.





The EA-18G Growler is the fourth major variant of the F/A-18 family of aircraft that combines the proven F/A-18F Super Hornet platform with a sophisticated electronic warfare suite. Built to replace the EA-6B Prowler, the Growler is the first newly-designed electronic warfare aircraft produced in more than 35 years. The aircraft also retains all of the  F/A-18E & F/A-18's  multi-mission capabilities with its validated design and the capability to perform a wide range of enemy defense suppression missions.


The EA-18G Growler, an Airborne Electronic Attack aircraft integrates the latest electronic attack technology, including the ALQ-218 receiver, ALQ-99 jamming pods, communication countermeasures, and satellite communications. Along with the electronic attack suite, the Growler also features the APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.


The first Growler test aircraft went into production in October 2004 and made its first flight in August 2006. The extensive commonality between the F/A-18E/F and the EA-18G Growler, as well as its flexible platform, gives the Growler much-needed room for future upgrades and growth. The first production aircraft was delivered June 3, 2008 to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129, the Growler Fleet Replacement Squadron, at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Wash. Initial operational capability and full rate production followed in fall 2009. In 2010, three squadrons, VAQ-132, 141 and 138, transitioned from the Prowler to the Growler and were declared safe-for-flight.  The Scorpions of VAQ-132 deployed to Iraq as an expeditionary squadron from NAS Whidbey Island, in the fall of 2010. The Shadowhawks of VAQ-141 deployed in the spring of 2011 aboard the USS George H. W. Bush.

General Characteristics


Primary Function: Airborne Electronic Attack (AEA

Contractor: The Boeing Company

Date Deployed: First flight in October 2004. Initial operational capability (IOC) in September 2009 with first deployment for VAQ-132 in November 2010.

Unit Cost: $67 million

Propulsion: Two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines. 22,000 pounds (9,977 kg) static thrust per engine

Length: 60.2 feet (18.5 meters)

Height: 16 feet (4.87 meters)

Wingspan: 44.9 feet (13.68 meters)

Weight: Weight empty: 33,094 lbs Recovery weight: 48,000 lbs

Ceiling: 50,000 feet

Range: Combat: 850+ nautical miles with two AIM-120, three ALQ-99, two AGM-88 HARM, two 480 gallon external fuel tanks

Crew: 2

Armament: Two AIM-120, two AGM-88 HARM, three ALQ-99




All-weather fighter and attack aircraft. The single-seat F/A-18 Hornet is the nation's first strike-fighter. It was designed for traditional strike applications such as interdiction and close air support without compromising its fighter capabilities. With its excellent fighter and self-defense capabilities, the F/A-18 at the same time increases strike mission survivability and supplements the F-14 Tomcat in fleet air defense. F/A-18 Hornets are currently operating in 37 tactical squadrons from air stations world-wide, and from 10 aircraft carriers. The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron proudly flies them. The Hornet comprises the aviation strike force for seven foreign customers including Canada, Australia, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.

The newest model, Super Hornet, is highly capable across the full mission spectrum: air superiority, fighter escort, reconnaissance, aerial refueling, close air support, air defense suppression and day/night precision strike. Compared to the original F/A-18 A through D models, Super Hornet has longer range, an aerial refueling capability, increased survivability/lethality and improved carrier suitability. [Capability of precision-guided munitions: JDAM (all variants) and JSOW. JASSM in the future]


The F/A-18 Hornet, an all-weather aircraft, is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction and close and deep air support.


The F/A-18 demonstrated its capabilities and versatility during Operation Desert Storm, shooting down enemy fighters and subsequently bombing enemy targets with the same aircraft on the same mission, and breaking all records for tactical aircraft in availability, reliability, and maintainability.

Hornets taking direct hits from surface-to-air missiles, recovering successfully, being repaired quickly, and flying again the next day proved the aircraft's survivability. The F/A-18 is a twin engine, mid-wing, multi-mission tactical aircraft. The F/A-18A and C are single seat aircraft. The F/A-18B and D are dual-seaters. The B model is used primarily for training, while the D model is the current Navy aircraft for attack, tactical air control, forward air control and reconnaissance squadrons. The newest models, the E and F were rolled out at McDonnell Douglas Sept. 17, 1995. The E is a single seat while the F is a two-seater.

The F/A-18 E/F acquisition program was an unparalleled success. The aircraft emerged from Engineering and Manufacturing Development meeting all of its performance requirements on cost, on schedule and 400 pounds under weight. All of this was verified in Operational Verification testing, the final exam, passing with flying colors receiving the highest possible endorsement.

The first operational cruise of Super Hornet, F/A-18 E, was with VFA-115 onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) on July 24, 2002, and saw initial combat action on Nov. 6, 2002, when they participated in a strike on hostile targets in the "no-fly" zone in Iraq.

Super Hornet, flew combat sorties from Abraham Lincoln during Southern Watch, demonstrating reliability and an increased range and payload capability. VFA 115 embarked aboard Lincoln expended twice the amount of bombs as other squadrons in their airwing (with 100% accuracy) and met and exceeded all readiness requirements while on deployment. The Super Hornet cost per flight hour is 40% of the F-14 Tomcat and requires 75% less labor hours per flight hour.

All F/A-18s can be configured quickly to perform either fighter or attack roles or both, through selected use of external equipment to accomplish specific missions. This "force multiplier" capability gives the operational commander more flexibility in employing tactical aircraft in a rapidly changing battle scenario. The fighter missions are primarily fighter escort and fleet air defense; while the attack missions are force projection, interdiction, and close and deep air support.

The F/A-18C and D models are the result of a block upgrade in 1987 incorporating provisions for employing updated missiles and jamming devices against enemy ordnance. C and D models delivered since 1989 also include an improved night attack capability. The E and F models have built on the proven effectiveness of the A through D aircraft. The Super Hornet provides aircrew the capability and performance necessary to face 21st century threats.

General Characteristics


Super Hornet, E and F models

Primary Function: Multi-role attack and fighter aircraft.

Contractor: McDonnell Douglas.

Date Deployed: First flight in November 1995. Initial Operational Capability (IOC) in September 2001 with VFA-115, NAS Lemoore, Calif. First cruise for VFA-115 is onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.

Unit Cost: $57 million

Propulsion: Two F414-GE-400 turbofan engines. 22,000 pounds (9,977 kg) static thrust per engine.

Length: 60.3 feet (18.5 meters).

Height: 16 feet (4.87 meters).

Wingspan: 44.9 feet (13.68 meters).

Weight: Maximum Take Off Gross Weight is 66,000 pounds (29,932 kg).

Airspeed: Mach 1.8+.

Ceiling: 50,000+ feet.

Range: Combat: 1,275 nautical miles (2,346 kilometers), clean plus two AIM-9s

Ferry: 1,660 nautical miles (3,054 kilometers), two AIM-9s, three 480-gallon tanks retained.

Crew: A, C and E models: One

B, D and F models: Two.

Armament: One M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20mm cannon; AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM-9X (projected), AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Harpoon, Harm, SLAM, SLAM-ER (projected), Maverick missiles; Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); Data Link Pod; Paveway Laser Guided Bomb; various general-purpose bombs, mines and rockets. 


C and D models

Primary Function: Multi-role attack and fighter aircraft.

Contractor: Prime: McDonnell Douglas; Major Subcontractor: Northrop.

Date Deployed: November 1978. Operational - October 1983 (A/B models); September 1987 (C/D models).

Unit Cost: $29 million.

Propulsion: Two F404-GE-402 enhanced performance turbofan engines. 17,700 pounds static thrust per engine.

Length: 56 feet (16.8 meters).

Height: 15 feet 4 inches (4.6 meters).

Wingspan: 40 feet 5 inches (13.5 meters).

Weight: Maximum Take Off Gross Weight is 51,900 pounds (23,537 kg).

Airspeed: Mach 1.7+.

Ceiling: 50,000+ feet.

Range: Combat: 1,089 nautical miles (1252.4 miles/2,003 km), clean plus two AIM-9s

Ferry: 1,546 nautical miles (1777.9 miles/2,844 km), two AIM-9s plus three 330-gallon tanks.

Crew: A, C and E models: One

B, D and F models: Two

Armament: One M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20mm cannon; AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Harpoon, Harm, SLAM, SLAM-ER, Maverick missiles; Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); various general-purpose bombs, mines and rockets. See the F/A-18 weapons load-out page.