F/A-18s bank while in formation. See more military jets pictures.

Photo courtesy U.S. Department of Defense

An F-18 Hornet is something like a power drill. If you have the right attachments, a power drill can act as an electric screwdriver, a sander, a drill of various sizes and many other tools. The basic ide­a behind the F-18 is to have a plane the military can reconfigure for different types of missions. By adjusting it and outfitting it with different components, you can specialize the aircraft for the task at hand.

As you might imagine, this adaptability makes the F-18 an invaluable addition to the U.S. arsenal. It makes it much easier for the Navy and Marine Corps to accomplish air superiority -- dominance in the air to the point that the enemy cannot mount a significant air attack.

In this article, we'll check out these remarkable machines, from cockpit to body to weaponry.