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Little Jeff

F/A-18C hornet weapons on center pylon?

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Has the F/A-18C Hornet ever carried or carries any weapons on the center pylon other than the external fuel tank during OIF or OEF? I really don't like the look of the goofy gas configuration. The model in question is a Academy 1/32 scale. I was going to put the external fuel tank on the center pylon and JDAM's on the inner pylons and some MK82's with the parachute retarding system on them, 2 on one VER on the outer pylon and 2 on the other side. I would really like to put the fuel tanks on the inner pylons, JDAM's on the outer pylons with a LGB on the center pylon. What do you guys think?

Little Jeff

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I'm pretty sure it "can"... but I doubt it "did"....

Seems OIF had 2 DTs most of the time, centerline and the wing opposite of the laser pod on the intake (Some folks said it blocked the target acquisition, or something like that).

They are pretty short-legged birds IMO. I guess they just needed all the gas they could get.

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Little Jeff,

There's a big difference between can and does. Your best bet is to find a pic with a loadout that you like and go with that. Usually during OIF/OEF the F/A-18 would carry two tanks. One on the centerline and one on the right wing. This was so the targetting pod mounted on the left shoulder pylon had a clear view. The inner left pylon was left empty or carried a single weapon parent mounted to the pylon. 500 or 1000 pound LGB/JDAM mixed loads are pretty common with two LGB and a single JDAM being the most common that I have seen. That being said, I have seen a pics of a VER/CVER with 500lb slicks mounted on the centerline, which was pretty cool looking.

HTH,

Crash

Some pics for you:

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3

Pic 4

Pic 5

Few Pics Here

Edited by DMunne

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Little Jeff,

There's a big difference between can and does. Your best bet is to find a pic with a loadout that you like and go with that. Usually during OIF/OEF the F/A-18 would carry two tanks. One on the centerline and one on the right wing. This was so the targetting pod mounted on the left shoulder pylon had a clear view. The inner left pylon was left empty or carried a single weapon parent mounted to the pylon. 500 or 1000 pound LGB/JDAM mixed loads are pretty common with two LGB and a single JDAM being the most common that I have seen. That being said, I have seen a pics of a VER/CVER with 500lb slicks mounted on the centerline, which was pretty cool looking.

HTH,

Crash

Few Pics Here

Well there's something you don't see everyday; a Hornet with the tgt'ing pod on the centerline.

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Well there's something you don't see everyday; a Hornet with the tgt'ing pod on the centerline.

Marine Hornets carry the LITENING Pod on the centerline ...

>>> Clicky <<<

Gregg

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Marine Hornets carry the LITENING Pod on the centerline ...

>>> Clicky <<<

Gregg

I know it's probably not entirly relevent, but our Aussie Hornets do that now too!

Tom

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It's not OIF/OEF, but one of the loadouts in the 1986 Prairie Fire operations against Libya, the combat debut of the Baby Hornet, featured a single Mk 20 Rockeye on the centreline.

HTH,

Andre

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I know it's probably not entirly relevent, but our Aussie Hornets do that now too!

Tom

Speaking of Aussie Hornets, I like THIS way of carrying a TGP. I wish the US carried the Litening pod in this position. Also the ASRAAM on the wingtip is just to cool!

Sincerely,

Crash

Edited by DMunne

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DMunne, The us aircraft do carry the pod in that pos, on the fuselage. I like the miisle too.

Little Jeff

I've never seen the Litening pod mounted there on US Hornets. I've only seen AN/AAS-38A there on ours. USMC Bugs carry the Litening pod a lot, and it's always been on the C/L. At least in pics. Like I said, never say never. I'm sure someone will post a pic of a US Bug with one mounted on Sta 6 (preferably Navy, since I have one I'm building now). :P If you notice the pic of the USMC Hornet, the pod is "reversed". The scoop is on the opposite side as compared to the Aussie Hornet. That may be why we haven't seen one mounted on Sta 6 yet.

Sincerely,

Crash

Edited by DMunne

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A few notes;

1) Edit, the LITENING Pod is cleared on the centerline of the A+, C and D. (Forgot about the IFC)

2) No LGB's on the centerline

3) The US does not use the ASRAAM.

4) No LITENING Pod on Station 6. On A+, A++, and C's station 4, D's can be on either 4 or 5.

5) Only the Mk 82's, MK 62, Mk 63, Mk 77 and Cluster Bombs are

6) The USMC/USN only use the parachute fins on Mk 82's for Mines (Mk 62). For GP Bombs it would be the BSU-86 or

Mk 15 (the Mk 15 fin is only authorized for use on the Mk 62 Mine, this change took place two years ago).

Reddog :P

Edited by Reddog

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A few notes;

1) Only the F-18D is authorized for LITENING Pod on the centerline.

......

As Crash notes above, this load on USMC A+ Hornets has become common in the recent past. Edit: And F-18C as well.

Cheers,

Andrew.

Edited by AndrewS

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I remeber somwhere seeing F/A-18's with a Harm and a Tank on left wing 2 mk 20's on a mer and a Tank on the rt wing and 1MK 20 C/L/ I wanna say it was El Dorado Canyon or Prarie fire.

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So the F/A-18C hornet do not carry the parachute style retarded bombs?

Little Jeff

The Navy doesn't use ballute fins on MK-82 on anything. The MK-83 can use the BSU-85 AIR fin but that is the only ballute-type fin that the USN/USMC use. MK-82 high-drag bombs only use the BSU-86 or MK-15 fins (see Reddog's previous post on this).

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The only ballute-type fin used on the Mk 82 bomb body is the Mk 16 para-tail and that is used on the when the Mk 82 bomb body is configured as a Mk 62 Quickstrike Mine.

The retard fin used on the Mk 82 GP is the Mk 15 (obsolete) and BSU-86/B and A/B

The Mk 83 uses the BSU-85/B.

Unless you are going to turn your Mk 82's into Mk 62's you will not be using the ballute-type fin. Also, the Mk 16 is very different from the ballute-type fin the Air Force uses so if you have Mk 82's with ballute fins, they are Air Force bombs.

Reddog :blink:

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I just have to figure out what loadout to put on it. I am definately going to use the GBU31 JDAM's. Do all the F/A-18C's use the goofy gas configuration in both campaigns OIF and OEF? If I went with the goofy gas set up with the JDAM's, what other ordanance could be used in reality on the spare wing pylon?

Thanks again

Little Jeff

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I just have to figure out what loadout to put on it. I am definately going to use the GBU31 JDAM's. Do all the F/A-18C's use the goofy gas configuration in both campaigns OIF and OEF? If I went with the goofy gas set up with the JDAM's, what other ordanance could be used in reality on the spare wing pylon?

Thanks again

Little Jeff

This was a very common OEF/OIF load for an F/A-18C with GBU-31:

:

1 - AIM-9M

2 - GBU-12

3 - GBU-31

4 - AAS-38B or ASQ-228

5 - 330 Tank

6 - AIM-120

7 - 330 Tank

8 - GBU-31

9 - AIM-9M

There were also jets in OEF loaded with 3 GBU-31 (Replace the GBU-12 with a GBU-31).

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This was a very common OEF/OIF load for an F/A-18C with GBU-31:

:

1 - AIM-9M

2 - GBU-12

3 - GBU-31

4 - AAS-38B or ASQ-228

5 - 330 Tank

6 - AIM-120

7 - 330 Tank

8 - GBU-31

9 - AIM-9M

There were also jets in OEF loaded with 3 GBU-31 (Replace the GBU-12 with a GBU-31).

*NOTE* this is a non-recoverable load...would only be early OEF (OCT-NOV '01) or early OIF (MAR/APR '03). In general, this was only a good load if the jet was going for pre-planned targets. In OEF, we were always critically short of GBU-31's and after about 3 days of dumping them in the water when the fight rolled on on call-CAS we got smarter about loading the Hornets.

HTH

Spongebob

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Why are they now mounting the targeting pods on the centerline? Seems like a poor idea since you loose a spot for fuel tank on a aircraft that isn't exactly known for having long legs. Off course you can always mount a tank on the inner wing pylons but then you give up a spot for weapons. The cheek stations were purposely designed for various pods and you wouldn't have to give up fuel tank. The only advantage that I could see with the centerline option is (possibly) a better field of view for the pod.

John

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That is probably it. By mounting on the centerline a Hornet is able to use an off the shelf 'standard' targeting pod, versus a specifically designed one for the Hornet. In the Osprey books on the Hornet over Iraq the pods that the Hornet carried on the shoulder hard points come across as not as good as the LITENING pod. And if we are talking about a two bag loadout the wings still carry the tanks and the PGB are carried outboard. If it is a JDAM loadout then the asymetric loadout is still an option giving 3 pylons to carry GPS guided weaponry

Matt

Edited by Matt Roberts

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