Shit.The big Navy is actually slimming down on the NFO service selection itself as it is streamlining all aircraft to be handled by one pilot and eventually the inevitable unmanned aircraft which we all dread. With the advancement in technology a single pilot can simply accomplish more tasks in the cockpit that were once too overwhelming and too cumbersome in the physical cockpit itself. It required an additional person and area to incorporate the radar and weapons systems (F-14). With the recession of mechanical cockpits in leu of modern day electronic cockpits the pilot can have much more information and tasks with less space taken up within the cockpit. (TGP, Radar, Engine gauges can all be viewed with the flipping of the MFD tabs).
For all practical purposes, once converted, it's a G. Sounds like a great opportunity to do some exchange officer based training. Is the plan to have your Growler aircrew train in the US, or will it all be done in house? We currently have a Brit and a German at the VAQ RAG. I unofficially invite the Aussies to join in the fun.Aussies have ordered long lead time kit to transition the 12 of our 24 fa-18f to Growlers, we will probably get 7 kits and fit out the 12 to take them. The Growlers will give us some stuff we haven't had before and will be a game changer for us.
My question is once converted, can we have the choice of running some of the spares as a fa-18f when a plane doesn't have the pods on. Are the core fa-18f mission capabilities still going to be there or is it just too big of a change? I know there is no gun and some hardware/screen changes.