The F/A-18C Hornet is a twin-engined, supersonic multi-role combat jet that is designed to carry out air-to-air missions and attack ground targets (the F/A designation stands for fighter/attack). The aircraft, which entered service with the Swiss Air Force in 1997, has proved itself well suited to operations in Switzerland's mountainous regions and narrow valleys as well as from the relatively short runways of its military airfields.
It is currently flown by three Swiss squadrons, which operate out of Meiringen and Payerne. They use the F/A-18C - which has been given significant upgrades to its capabilities since coming into use with the air arm - for the air policing role as their primary function. In Swiss hands, the Hornet first appeared at an Air Tattoo in 1997.