U.S. state-of-the-art fighters to be deployed at Atsugi Air Base

Akahata of June 1 reported that the United States Navy has disclosed on its website a plan to deploy at the U.S. Atsugi base the state-of-the-art single-seat fighter and attack aircraft F/A-18 E Super Hornet aboard the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk. The Navy last year deployed 13 dual-seat fighter F/A-18 F Super Hornets at the same base.

The payload and fuel capability of the F/A-18 E model is 33 percent greater, and its engine output is 35 percent more than that of the original A through D models.

But its engine noise has caused a big social problem in the United States. In North Carolina, the Federal District Court in April ordered an injunction against the construction of a new base for the aircraft on the grounds that the aircraft will cause unbearable noise pollution.

The Navy Times of May 24 reported that its strike fighter squadron 27 is scheduled to start pilot training with the F/A-18 E on the U.S. mainland in June and will be back in service at Atsugi in October.

The Navy Command in Japan, however, denied its report on May 25, saying that they have decided nothing about it yet.

The Navy is planning to replace all fighter and attack planes aboard aircraft carriers with F/A-18 E and F models by the year 2008. (end)

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