A Patria modified D-model F-18 Hornet has successfully performed its first 51-minute flight after being badly damaged in a mid-air collision.

The modification from a single-seater C-model F-18 Hornet to twin-seater D-model F-18 Hornet aircraft has taken 100,000 man-hours.

A twin-engine multimission tactical aircraft, the F-18 Hornet can convert between air-to-air fighter missions and air-to-ground strike missions while on the same sortie with the flick of a switch.

The F-18 Hornet performs assignments such as fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defences, reconnaissance, forward air control, close air support and day and night strike missions.

During a night flight exercise to the south-east of Lappajarvi on 8 November 2001, two F-18 Hornet fighters from the Satakunta Air Command of Finish Air Force collided, causing one aircraft to crash.

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