F-18E/F 2017

Military aircraft - Post cold war aircraft, including for example B-2, Gripen, F-18E/F Super Hornet, Rafale, and Typhoon.
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 02:46

$290 Millon each..
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Unread post13 Sep 2017, 15:06

What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?

I was the the LOSER in the USAF's LWF competition. It has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY US teen fighter to LOSE to enemy Mig's in combat (Speicher's F-18C, downed by an Iraqi Mig-25). And let's not forget, the F-18 was designed a generation after the Mig-25. It shot down 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, then completed the mission? Big deal. Beating up senior citizens isn't very impressive. Never was, never will be.

Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments? US Navy commanders want MORE F-18's? For what?? To fly into contested airspece that'll turn it into spare parts in every conflict from present day out to 2035 and beyond?? We want more of this??? It's already inferior to the aircraft many rival nations currently field, not to mention what's on the drawing board. And as America's front line deck fighter, chances are it'll be up against an adversary vs. any other platform we field.

The hornet sets a dangerous precedent: We no longer aspire to give our men the absolute best fighter money can buy. Instead, we're content with giving them "good enough". That mentality has already cost lives...

The day the last one of these turkeys comes off the production line, I'm buying a round for everyone here. The day the last one flies off into the sunset, I'm throwing the biggest party this board has ever seen (but chances are, I'll be dead by then)..
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southernphantom

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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 02:52

mixelflick wrote:What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?

I was the the LOSER in the USAF's LWF competition. It has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY US teen fighter to LOSE to enemy Mig's in combat (Speicher's F-18C, downed by an Iraqi Mig-25). And let's not forget, the F-18 was designed a generation after the Mig-25. It shot down 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, then completed the mission? Big deal. Beating up senior citizens isn't very impressive. Never was, never will be.

Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments? US Navy commanders want MORE F-18's? For what?? To fly into contested airspece that'll turn it into spare parts in every conflict from present day out to 2035 and beyond?? We want more of this??? It's already inferior to the aircraft many rival nations currently field, not to mention what's on the drawing board. And as America's front line deck fighter, chances are it'll be up against an adversary vs. any other platform we field.

The hornet sets a dangerous precedent: We no longer aspire to give our men the absolute best fighter money can buy. Instead, we're content with giving them "good enough". That mentality has already cost lives...

The day the last one of these turkeys comes off the production line, I'm buying a round for everyone here. The day the last one flies off into the sunset, I'm throwing the biggest party this board has ever seen (but chances are, I'll be dead by then)..


Contested airspace?

It's a very nice thought experiment, but I am legitimately unsure if the US will ever deal with truly contested airspace again during its existence. For plinking Toyotas, structures, and the odd armored vehicle, attack helicopters and UAVs are more than sufficient. On some level, I've started questioning the relevance of tactical jets to modern conflicts.
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 04:09

southernphantom wrote:
Contested airspace?

It's a very nice thought experiment, but I am legitimately unsure if the US will ever deal with truly contested airspace again during its existence. For plinking Toyotas, structures, and the odd armored vehicle, attack helicopters and UAVs are more than sufficient. On some level, I've started questioning the relevance of tactical jets to modern conflicts.


It's going to be RPGs and IEDs forever eh?
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 09:52

mixelflick wrote:What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?

I was the the LOSER in the USAF's LWF competition. It has the dubious distinction of being the ONLY US teen fighter to LOSE to enemy Mig's in combat (Speicher's F-18C, downed by an Iraqi Mig-25). And let's not forget, the F-18 was designed a generation after the Mig-25. It shot down 2 Mig-21's en route to bomb a target, then completed the mission? Big deal. Beating up senior citizens isn't very impressive. Never was, never will be.


Sure, but F/A-18A-D Hornet has also won competitions against F-16 and other competitors. Of course F-16 has been bought by more operators and in larger numbers and has been more successful especially commercially. I think major reason for that was winning that LWF competition though as in many cases F-16 was selected without real competition. In all competitions both have been found to have been excellent fighter aircraft (for their time) and selection has depended on what qualities have been emphasized and what exact versions are compared.

I also think that Speicher incident is so isolated that we can't make any real judgement about combat capability from that. I'd say the same about that MiG-21 shootdown. It is true that F-16 and especially F-15 has shot down more enemy aircraft, but major reason for that has been tasking (no F-16 shot down anything during DS for example, AFAIK) and opportunities as far more F-16s and F-16 missions have been flown in combat areas with enemy aircraft present than F/A-18C/D.

Of course Air-to-Air is only one part of aerial combat. Both F-16 and F/A-18 Hornet were (and still are) very good multi-role aircraft.

mixelflick wrote:Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments? US Navy commanders want MORE F-18's? For what?? To fly into contested airspece that'll turn it into spare parts in every conflict from present day out to 2035 and beyond?? We want more of this??? It's already inferior to the aircraft many rival nations currently field, not to mention what's on the drawing board. And as America's front line deck fighter, chances are it'll be up against an adversary vs. any other platform we field.

The hornet sets a dangerous precedent: We no longer aspire to give our men the absolute best fighter money can buy. Instead, we're content with giving them "good enough". That mentality has already cost lives...

The day the last one of these turkeys comes off the production line, I'm buying a round for everyone here. The day the last one flies off into the sunset, I'm throwing the biggest party this board has ever seen (but chances are, I'll be dead by then)..


I definitely agree that Hornet and Super Hornet are at the end of their life cycle and future is F-35 in all variants. I don't see any good reason to buy Super Hornets instead of F-35 for example. Well, maybe to replace attrition to keep whole squadrons combat capable and even that is somewhat dubious. I think Super Hornet was a good idea and it has proven to be one of the most capable 4th gen jet. Of course it's not F-22 in air-to-air but for multi-role fighter it's very good one still. F-35 is naturally far better at pretty much everything, but I see SH being very credible fighter aircraf for the next 15-20 years. There will be rather low number of more capable fighter aircraft in potentially hostile nations until then. I see AD systems being much more of a threat and there F-35 will really be needed.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 16:13

[quote="hornetfinn"]

Sure, but F/A-18A-D Hornet has also won competitions against F-16 and other competitors. Of course F-16 has been bought by more operators and in larger numbers and has been more successful especially commercially. I think major reason for that was winning that LWF competition though as in many cases F-16 was selected without real competition. In all competitions both have been found to have been excellent fighter aircraft (for their time) and selection has depended on what qualities have been emphasized and what exact versions are compared.

One of the interesting points sales wise I heard (though it may not be 100 percent true) is that the Hornet had the edge early on with the AIM-7 integration. Once the F-16 got full up on the Aim-7 the F-16 pretty much took the rest.
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 18:03

mixelflick wrote:What is it about the Hornet that gives it 9 lives?
Yet here we are in 2017, and a US president is championing more Hornets for both the US Navy and foreign governments?


Not that I agree with trading Shornets for F-35s, because that certainly isn't a good deal. But these F/A-18E (block 3s) are not to be associated with the YF-17 that lost to the YF-16 in any way, shape or form. These Rhinos are light years better than that prototype that lost the LWF program.

Talking to some Rhino pilots, these aircraft are absolute monsters and in A-A they are confident that they can achieve total air dominance with them even against today's high end threats.

in fact some Navy drivers I've talked to admit that the F-22 is a better platform for A-A overall (a testament to the Raptor's greatness) but that they can beat it with enough practice using their Rhinos.

These are not the low cost day time fighters that are there just to augment the smaller numbers of F-14s anymore.

These reduced RCS, highly advanced, AESA equiped warbirds capable of ungodly slow speed nose pointing abilities supported by powerful jamming variants in the EA-18G can really do some serious damage to an enemy's IADS zones.

No I'm not saying they will be as good as F-35s and F-22s, but what I am saying is that if you're not going against China or Russia in 2026 onwards. These planes as they are now are good enough, against NKorea, Iran or Syria they are still dominating. Against today's Russia or China, they are still on par and lets face it, at least today they are still cheaper than F-35Cs
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Unread post14 Sep 2017, 20:49

zero-one wrote:in fact some Navy drivers I've talked to admit that the F-22 is a better platform for A-A overall (a testament to the Raptor's greatness) but that they can beat it with enough practice using their Rhinos.

The Rhino can bleed energy easily and force an overshoot in a knife fight, remaining in complete control. The IRST/FLIR pod can also track a Raptor quite easily. Similarly, Aggressor F-16s have been seen with FLIR pods for engaging a Raptor. Also, the Rhino pilots are using JHMCS to cue the AIM-9X onto the Raptor, with or without the IRST pod.
zero-one wrote:These reduced RCS, highly advanced, AESA equiped warbirds capable of ungodly slow speed nose pointing abilities supported by powerful jamming variants in the EA-18G can really do some serious damage to an enemy's IADS zones.

The Rhino can fire a HARM for lock-on emitter source, with or without the Growler support. AESA also provides for high definition Synthetic Aperture Radar modes, which also support counter-IADS engagement.

zero-one wrote:No I'm not saying they will be as good as F-35s and F-22s, but what I am saying is that if you're not going against China or Russia in 2026 onwards. These planes as they are now are good enough, against NKorea, Iran or Syria they are still dominating. Against today's Russia or China, they are still on par and lets face it, at least today they are still cheaper than F-35Cs

Remember that a lot commentators are comparing the cost of an F-35A with the notional F/A-18EF Block III+ (eg. $70m apparently.. more like $85-90m fully loaded) that I doubt is actually significantly cheaper than a F-35A. Compared to a F-35C, the Rhino has the cost advantage.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 11:27

XanderCrews wrote:One of the interesting points sales wise I heard (though it may not be 100 percent true) is that the Hornet had the edge early on with the AIM-7 integration. Once the F-16 got full up on the Aim-7 the F-16 pretty much took the rest.


That definitely affected some early customers for Hornet, namely Canada, Australia and Spain. However Hornet was also selected during 1990s by Finland and Switzerland (along with Kuwait and Malaysia, but I don't know much about those) because Hornet proved to be better at BVR engagements mostly due to more capable and flexible radar and higher missile load (important for small country with low number of airframes). At least in Finnish comparisons and evaluations Hornet was clearly the best in BVR overall compared to Mirage 2000-5, JAS Gripen A and F-16 Block 40 (GE engine with then latest AN/APG-68(V)5 variant). Of course Hornet then benefited from much more capable AN/APG-73 radar and -402 engines which were not available during earlier competitions/evaluations. It definitely would've needed those upgrades earlier to win more contracts. F-16 was probably better overall before that happened. Then Hornet production ended in 2000 (because of SH) but F-16 production continued and it still sold pretty well.
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Unread post15 Sep 2017, 13:47

neurotech wrote:

[
Remember that a lot commentators are comparing the cost of an F-35A with the notional F/A-18EF Block III+ (eg. $70m apparently.. more like $85-90m fully loaded) that I doubt is actually significantly cheaper than a F-35A. Compared to a F-35C, the Rhino has the cost advantage.


The Block III Super Hornet won't be cheaper than an F-35, at any time.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 14:24

Boeing to set up a new facility for F/A 18 Super Hornet production in India if ordered by India

https://idrw.org/big-boost-to-make-in-i ... -in-india/

US aerospace major Boeing has offered to set up a new production facility in India for the production of its F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters if the company gets contracts for large number of fighters for both the Indian Air Force as well as the Indian Navy. Also, since the Indo-US defence and security ties have been on an upswing, the company does not foresee any issues related to transfer of technology (ToT). Dan Gillian, vice president of F/A-18 and E/A-18 programs at Boeing, while discussing the Block III Super Hornet’s capabilities, with Financial Express Online, said that “India-US relationship is uniquely positioned and we are working on setting up a new production facility for building the next generation aircraft in India. We have a robust ToT plan.” With the US Navy making major investments in Block III, F/A-18 Super Hornet has a long life ahead. “The Super Hornet is the most advanced fighter that India could manufacture here and this will help the Indian side to make the AMCA (Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft) air plane,” he said.

The Advanced Medium Combat aircraft (AMCA) could be a fifth-generation plane being developed by the state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Since the time India has been designated as “Major Defence Partner” by the Trump administration in 2016, the defence trade and technology sharing with India has been elevated to a level of its trusted allies and partners. To a question if the company is focusing on the Indian Navy’s planned acquisition of 57 multi-role carrier-borne fighters, the company official said that F/A 18 Super Hornet would be the ideal machine for the Navy’s carrier, as no modifications will be required. Companies including the French Rafale of Dassault Aviation, F/A-18 Super Hornet of US based Boeing MIG-29K of Russia, F-35B and F-35C of Lockheed Martin, US and Gripen from Saab, Sweden are in race for the Naval order.

According to Gillian the company is also offering F/A 18 Super Hornet for the Indian Air Force requirement of 114 fighter aircraft. Boeing Company which has been present in India for several decades has been working to set up 21st century ecosystem for aerospace & defence manufacturing in India, which will help in making Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ initiative in the defence and aerospace sector a success. According to Gillian, “The Company through its Indian partners has been building parts for helicopters and aircraft here in India. And we have more than 160 Indian suppliers.” This will lead to also lead to maximizing indigenous content in the production of the F/A-18 in India for its armed forces. And, he added that there are tie ups with state owned Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) for manufacturing the F/A-18 Super Hornet in India for its armed forces and will also work towards jointly developing of future technologies. “Depending on the order from the Indian side for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, the number of suppliers can go up higher and we are already in talks with them as all of this depends on the requirements,” he added ...
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Unread post03 May 2019, 23:31

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... te-457459/

In March 2019, the company secured a three-year contract from the US Navy (USN) for 78 F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, with a total contract value of about $4 billion. That follows a $1.8 billion order by the service in 2018 for 24 examples. The Block III is the most modern variant of the fighter.
***
The new airframe sales come in addition to Service Life Extension work on the USN's existing fleet of F/A-18E/Fs. In 2018, Boeing was awarded $73 million to reinforce and update an initial set of four aircraft. The company expects to receive numerous follow-on contracts over a 10-year period. To support the fleet-wide modernisation programme, it plans to establish a dedicated production line in San Antonio, Texas, in addition to its facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
***
While the service still has plans to order many more F-35s, it is becoming apparent that it no longer sees stealth technology as a cure-all. Instead, it is buying a mix of aircraft, with no expiration date in sight for classic fighters such as the F/A-18E/F. The US Air Force is pursuing a similar policy by buying Boeing F-15EXs.
***
It might be the era of fifth-generation stealth fighters, but Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is selling just fine. In March 2019, the company secured a three-year contract from the US Navy (USN) for 78 F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, with a total contract value of about $4 billion. That follows a $1.8 billion order by the service in 2018 for 24 examples. The Block III is the most modern variant of the fighter.

The new airframe sales come in addition to Service Life Extension work on the USN's existing fleet of F/A-18E/Fs. In 2018, Boeing was awarded $73 million to reinforce and update an initial set of four aircraft. The company expects to receive numerous follow-on contracts over a 10-year period. To support the fleet-wide modernisation programme, it plans to establish a dedicated production line in San Antonio, Texas, in addition to its facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
***
While the service still has plans to order many more F-35s, it is becoming apparent that it no longer sees stealth technology as a cure-all. Instead, it is buying a mix of aircraft, with no expiration date in sight for classic fighters such as the F/A-18E/F. The US Air Force is pursuing a similar policy by buying Boeing F-15EXs.
***
"Being that stealthy didn't help us close the kill chain for the navy nearly as effectively as being a networked fighter," says Dan Gillian, program manager for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. "Things like an internal [infrared search and track] or an enclosed weapons pod, they kind of fell to the bottom of the list."
Instead of more stealth, the Block III aircraft is essentially a flying and heavily armed node in the USN's network. It comes with an advanced processor, called the Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) computer and a robust communications link from Rockwell Collins, called Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT). The cockpit also has a large 21in touchscreen display. The aircraft's computer hardware is designed to run next-generation sensors and software, says Gillian.
***
Block III Super Hornets also come with an external Block II Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor, which, when used by two aircraft at once, can create a targeting solution for an air-to-air missile. Boeing declines to say what the IRST's range is, but claims it is longer than adversaries' air-to-air radar. The new aircraft also have shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks, which reduce drag and carry about 1,588kg (3,500lb) of fuel, extending its range by about 120nm (222km).
Legacy Super Hornets that undergo the Service Life Extension programme receive essentially the same configuration as brand-new Block III airframes, plus their lifespan is extended from 6,000h to 10,000h via component replacements and structural reinforcement. Boeing says it expects those additional flight hours to give each aircraft 10 to 13 extra years of life.
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Unread post05 May 2019, 08:52

charlielima223 wrote:https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/analysis-super-hornets-find-place-in-stealth-fighte-457459/

In March 2019, the company secured a three-year contract from the US Navy (USN) for 78 F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, with a total contract value of about $4 billion. That follows a $1.8 billion order by the service in 2018 for 24 examples. The Block III is the most modern variant of the fighter.
***
The new airframe sales come in addition to Service Life Extension work on the USN's existing fleet of F/A-18E/Fs. In 2018, Boeing was awarded $73 million to reinforce and update an initial set of four aircraft. The company expects to receive numerous follow-on contracts over a 10-year period. To support the fleet-wide modernisation programme, it plans to establish a dedicated production line in San Antonio, Texas, in addition to its facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
***
While the service still has plans to order many more F-35s, it is becoming apparent that it no longer sees stealth technology as a cure-all. Instead, it is buying a mix of aircraft, with no expiration date in sight for classic fighters such as the F/A-18E/F. The US Air Force is pursuing a similar policy by buying Boeing F-15EXs.
***
It might be the era of fifth-generation stealth fighters, but Boeing’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is selling just fine. In March 2019, the company secured a three-year contract from the US Navy (USN) for 78 F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, with a total contract value of about $4 billion. That follows a $1.8 billion order by the service in 2018 for 24 examples. The Block III is the most modern variant of the fighter.

The new airframe sales come in addition to Service Life Extension work on the USN's existing fleet of F/A-18E/Fs. In 2018, Boeing was awarded $73 million to reinforce and update an initial set of four aircraft. The company expects to receive numerous follow-on contracts over a 10-year period. To support the fleet-wide modernisation programme, it plans to establish a dedicated production line in San Antonio, Texas, in addition to its facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
***
While the service still has plans to order many more F-35s, it is becoming apparent that it no longer sees stealth technology as a cure-all. Instead, it is buying a mix of aircraft, with no expiration date in sight for classic fighters such as the F/A-18E/F. The US Air Force is pursuing a similar policy by buying Boeing F-15EXs.
***
"Being that stealthy didn't help us close the kill chain for the navy nearly as effectively as being a networked fighter," says Dan Gillian, program manager for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler. "Things like an internal [infrared search and track] or an enclosed weapons pod, they kind of fell to the bottom of the list."
Instead of more stealth, the Block III aircraft is essentially a flying and heavily armed node in the USN's network. It comes with an advanced processor, called the Distributed Targeting Processor-Networked (DTP-N) computer and a robust communications link from Rockwell Collins, called Tactical Targeting Network Technology (TTNT). The cockpit also has a large 21in touchscreen display. The aircraft's computer hardware is designed to run next-generation sensors and software, says Gillian.
***
Block III Super Hornets also come with an external Block II Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor, which, when used by two aircraft at once, can create a targeting solution for an air-to-air missile. Boeing declines to say what the IRST's range is, but claims it is longer than adversaries' air-to-air radar. The new aircraft also have shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks, which reduce drag and carry about 1,588kg (3,500lb) of fuel, extending its range by about 120nm (222km).
Legacy Super Hornets that undergo the Service Life Extension programme receive essentially the same configuration as brand-new Block III airframes, plus their lifespan is extended from 6,000h to 10,000h via component replacements and structural reinforcement. Boeing says it expects those additional flight hours to give each aircraft 10 to 13 extra years of life.

Block III Super Hornets also come with an external Block II Infrared Search and Track (IRST) sensor, which, when used by two aircraft at once, can create a targeting solution for an air-to-air missile. Boeing declines to say what the IRST's range is, but claims it is longer than adversaries' air-to-air radar. it's a joke? Irst>aesa radar lol
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Unread post05 May 2019, 19:44

Depends on the environment, ROEs and opponent tech.

If it's in the clouds, good luck with an IRST.

If ROEs are not a thing then you could shoot at an airliner, private plane, etc for all you know.

IF the enemy has a VLO airframe then an IRST will likely see, and more importantly, identify him sooner than a radar.

But there is a catch, the use of two IRSTs requires a datalink and the datalink on the F-18 is not directional. This will give their position away to any decent ESM in the area.

Darn, if only the DoD had come up with a tactical fighter that is VLO, has an AESA radar, has a very good ESM, has an IRST, and has a directional datalinks that would allow it to take advantage of both situations (hunter and the hunted). :mrgreen:
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Unread post06 May 2019, 09:42

SpudmanWP wrote:Depends on the environment, ROEs and opponent tech.

If it's in the clouds, good luck with an IRST.

If ROEs are not a thing then you could shoot at an airliner, private plane, etc for all you know.

IF the enemy has a VLO airframe then an IRST will likely see, and more importantly, identify him sooner than a radar.

But there is a catch, the use of two IRSTs requires a datalink and the datalink on the F-18 is not directional. This will give their position away to any decent ESM in the area.

Darn, if only the DoD had come up with a tactical fighter that is VLO, has an AESA radar, has a very good ESM, has an IRST, and has a directional datalinks that would allow it to take advantage of both situations (hunter and the hunted). :mrgreen:
Thank you for your explanation.
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