McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D - The Knife of the Swiss Air Force: Part 3

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McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D - The Knife of the Swiss Air Force: Part 3

Hi and welcome to my 53th, which is about the Swiss F/A-18D, hope you like it. :popcorn:

First of all:

  • This is a suggestion for an aircraft we could see in game at some point in the Future , that doesn´t mean next Patch or somewhere in the near Future
  • Feel free to share more Information and / or correct me if something is wrong
  • Discuss respectfully, any aggressive kind or verbal abuse will be reported, the Forum rules also apply here


Background History

The F/A-18 has its roots in a 1966 study by Northrop that was intended to be a successor to the F-5. Originally designed as a light, agile and fast air superiority fighter, the project was continued through the US Air Force’s initiative in the Lightweight Fighter Program. Although the YF-17 lost in competition with the YF-16, the US Navy, seeing greater air-to-ground potential and preferring a twin-engine aircraft for flight safety reasons, decided to further develop the YF-17.
Northrop partnered with McDonnell Douglas to develop the F/A-18, with the Navy requesting specific adjustments such as a more resilient airframe and strengthened landing gear for carrier landings. Despite criticism and problems, including rising costs and weight gain, the first production models were delivered in May 1980. The designation was changed to F/A-18 to emphasize its versatility as a fighter/attack aircraft. The United States Marine Corps’ VMFA-314 “Black Knights” was the first unit to receive the F/A-18A and declared it as fully operational on 7th January 1983.
The Swiss Air Force (SAF) put its F/A-18C/D into service in 1997-1998. These are kept running through ongoing “Upgrade” packages and are expected to remain in service until the 2030s.

The F/A-18D Overall

The F/A-18D includes extensive upgrades compared to the F/A-18A, primarily in the area of internal systems; now equipped with the powerful AN/APG-73 radar and modernized avionics, with newer EloKa systems and four AN/ALE-47 decoy launchers, compared to the F/A-18A’s previous two AN/ALE-39.
The F/A-18D Hornet, in service with the Swiss Air Force since 1997, has so far seen a few small MLUs (Mid-Life Upgrades). As part of Upgrade 21, the AIM-9X was partially implemented as well as a flight trip to the USA, where SAF pilots were able to test the new missile. In phase 2 of Upgrade 21, JHMCS was integrated and the requirements and new rails for the use of AIM-9X were purchased.
The Upgrade 25 was the largest to date for the Swiss F/A-18Ds. The airframes were overhauled to allow additional flight hours, the RWR was modernized to the ALR-67v3, the cockpit received new displays with titanium frames, GPS, digital recorder, armament computer memory and other avionics were modernized.

Armament of the F/A-18D

The onboard armament of the F/A-18D is an M61A1 with 578 rounds. However, for budget reasons, the Swiss Hornet was never equipped with the capability for air-to-ground armament; despite the lack, the designation officially remains F/A-18, instead of F-18, in SAF service.

Air-to-Air Missiles

  • 2-6x AIM-9P-5
  • 2-6x AIM-9X (w/ U21)

  • 10x AIM-120B
  • 10x AIM-120C-7 (w/ U25)


Specifications, Electronics and Internal

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 17,07 m
  • Wingspan: 11,43 m
  • Height: 4,66 m
  • Max. takeoff weight: 25.401 kg
  • Powerplant: 2x General-Electric F404-GE-402
    • Dry thrust: 2 × 53,3 kN
    • Afterburner thrust: 2 × 79,0 kN
  • Maximum speed: Mach 1,8
  • Service ceiling: 15.240 m
  • Rate of climb: 254 m/s
  • Maximum g-load: +9g / -3g

Thanks for your time, hope you liked it :salute:
[Will add more if there are some (more) important / declassified things]
[PM or comment if a Link or Picture isn´t working]



Lieferung von Luft-Luft-Lenkwaffen AIM-120 C-7

Books / Other:
The AirForces Monthly Book of the F/A-18 Hornet - Tim Senior (2003)
Alpine Hornets - F/A-18C in the Swiss Air Force - Gary Parsons (2021)


Why not C

1 Like

ha i just saw

Yes, +1
(I would kill to see an F/A-18D in the US TT as well, but that’s for another suggestion)

Actually there was a previous suggestion which covers all Swiss F/A-18C.

1 Like