How F/A-18s Work

Technicians work on an M61 Vulcan Cannon.
Technicians work on an M61 Vulcan Cannon.

One of the most powerful features of the F/A-18 is that it can carry many different types of ordnance into battle. This guide explains the weaponry possibilities.

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Image courtesy Air Force Civil Engineer Support Agency

For more information, click on each piece of ordnance.

In addition to all of this ordnance, the Hornet can defend itself with the powerful M61A2 Vulcan -- a 20 mm, 6-barrel rotary cannon.

Mounted inside the nose of the craft, the M61A2 is a hydraulically driven, electrically fired, rotary action cannon. Operators can select between two rates of fire: 4000 or 6000 rounds per minute. The Vulcan has an air cooling system that prevents the barrel from melting as it spews out hot lead. The gun fires 20mm linkless M-50 or PGU series electrically-primed rounds and is used to fire on enemy aircraft and ground targets.

A Hornet waits to be loaded with ordnance.