The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a more advanced version of the F/A-18C/D Hornet, and it is also 20% larger than its predecessor. The Super Hornet is most famously used by the U.S. Navy aboard its fleet of a dozen aircraft carriers, with around 370 fighters presently in service. The difference between the E and the F models is that the former is a single-seat design and the latter has a two-seat configuration. Initial Operating Capability (IOC) of the Super Hornet was achieved in September 2001. Since then it has participated in a number of conflicts, including Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
Two U.S. Navy squadrons that operate the Super Hornet are VFA-27 and VFA-41. VFA-27 “Royal Maces” of Carrier Air Wing 5 is based at Atsugi in Japan and is presently embarked on the USS George Washington (CVN-73) in East Asia. The unit has been flying the F/A-18E since October 2004. The second squadron, VFA-41 “Black Aces,” is stationed at Lemoore in California. This formation flies F/A-18Fs aboard the USS Nimitz (CVN-68).