The fighter jet F/A-18C Hornet in abundance on the decks of aircraft carriers has left the game for good. The most used fighter aircraft of the Marine Corps ‘Death Rattlers’ squadron made the last of its run, and now it has reached the end of its service after being replaced with F-35B Joint Strike Fighter.
The famous VMFA-323 Marine Corps fighter attack squadron has returned from its deployment on the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. The squadron spent ten months at sea, which is considered a greater span spent together than usual due to two good reasons. The first one being the elongated procedures given the Covid-19 situation, and the second one being to keep an eye on Iran by staying for a longer period in the Persian Gulf. The squadron left Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for the mission at the gulf in early May 2020.
The fighter squadron’s final flight was marked on the 25th of February as per the Marine Corps Times. The video below contains a F/A-18F Super Hornet and a Death Rattler F/A 18-C refueling on the ground in Kuwait recorded last year.
Since that time, the glorious fighter aircraft entered Marine Corps service in the mid-1980s and has been serving the U.S. The F/A 18-C Hornet has fought in every major conflict in the last forty years. It has laid down its services in the 1991 Gulf War and for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Now the U.S marines are equipped with newer F/A-18E/F Super Hornets or F-35-C Fighters, whereas the older active-duty model C Hornets will continue to serve Naval Reserve Squadrons.
The U.S Navy got equipped with the advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft earlier. However, the U.S marines wanted to replace the older ones directly with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, skipping the mid-E model replacement. However, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter got late to come into service, leaving Marines to rely three years more than planned on the older F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter aircraft.
The Marines Squadron 323 will replace its F/A-18C Hornets with new F-35Bs: the short take-off and vertical landing edition fighter aircraft of the F-35 series. This change will bring along the replacement of the Marines Squadron’s Carrier, too, because the B-models can only be operated from the Wasp and A-Class amphibious assault ships. As per the latest, the Marines are equipping themselves with a small number of carrier-capable F-35Cs to begin their new U.S guarding ventures.