Originally Posted by DrScoles
May be a naive question, but why would finland buy f-18's that have folding wings and arrestor hook? Seems like they wouldn't have checked that box on the option sheet. Seems like added weight and maintenance that they won't use. I googled looking to see if they have carriers, looks like they don't. Why would a country buy a plane designed for carrier use in the first place when they don't have a carrier?
Here is a list of carriers by nation. Interesting that we have to have 5 times more than second place and 10 times more than every other.
Simple: it costs more. The baseline F-18 was designed for NAVY, therefore floding wings and arresting hook were requirements. Changing these requirements or changing the baseline design costs a lot o money and would have been billed directly to the customer. So, the customer has to ask the question can I live with folding wings and an arresting hook. Some manufacturers dont even provide an option of redesign/reconfiguring baseline design.
Spain, Switzerland, Canada, USA all share the same configuration. On a side note, eliminating the folding wings, removing the tail hook, adding a smaller landing gear would yield a much lighter airframe with improved performance. Not sure the NAVY would like that for an export version Horny.