The F/A-18 Hornet is the true multi-role aircraft. It can vault from a carrier deck, bomb a target and stay to dogfight even the best enemy aircraft without missing a beat. It's the Navy's first modern-era jet intended for double duty against air- and ground-based adversaries. Armed to the hilt with Sparrow and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, an internal cannon, and laser-guided bombs, this modern warbird was an outstanding performer in Operation Desert Storm. Strapped into a digital cockpit described as a cross between Star Wars and a video game, pilots of the F/A-18 Hornet take on the ultimate aviation job: blasting this single-seat, high-performance jet off the deck of a carrier, dropping bombs, and firing air-to-ground ordnance. Offering unmatched agility, the Hornet is the choice aircraft of the US Navy's elite Blue Angels aerobatic team.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:72 scale diecast replica of a USMC F/A-18D Hornet Strike Fighter that was attached to VMFA(AW)-242 "Bats", then deployed to Miramar, CA, during 2003.
Wingspan: 7.5 inches
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: January 2012
Historical Account: "Bats in the Belfry" - From August 4th, 2004 to March 18th, 2005, the Bats supported Operation Iraqi Freedom. Utilizing the combat callsign Profane; VMFA(AW)-242 spent seven months flying out of Al Asad, Iraq. During this time they provided close air support for the 1st Marine Division during Operation Phantom Fury. Profane sections flew cyclic missions dropping over 300,000 pounds of ordnance in support of Marines and Soldiers on the ground overtaking the city. During this battle precision guided ordnance was dropped dangerously close to friendly forces with zero cases of fratricide. Just two months later, in January 2005, VMFA(AW)-242 proudly played a major role in Iraqs first democratic elections ever. For a five day period Bat aircraft were airborne twenty four hours a day in order to deter the insurgents efforts to undermine the election. The squadron received the Robert M. Hanson Marine Fighter Squadron" of the Year award in October 2005.