Here Are The F/A-18C Hornet Jets That Enforced The No-Fly Zone Over Davos During World Economic Forum 2018

We went to Meiringen to see the Swiss “Legacy” Hornets involved in the WEF 2018 air defense.

From Jan. 22 to 27, Swiss Air Force F/A-18C/D Hornet jets contributed to the security of the WEF international conference at Davos, Switzerland.

The aircraft operated out of Meiringen (and Payerne too), flying CAPs (Combat Air Patrols) that saw the aircraft carrying two live AIM-9X Sidewinders at the wingtips and either two live AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles) or one AIM-120 and the ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infra Red) pod, particularly useful to perform long-range visual IDs. All the Hornets had the “STBY 121.5” marking on their 1,200 lt centerline external fuel tank: a message to any intercepted aircraft to switch their radio to the international VHF emergency frequency 121.5 MHz to get instructions from the interceptor and the air defense radar.

The F/A-18C J-5011 from the Fliegerstaffel 11 “Tigers” with the special tail color scheme seen returning to Meiringen after a WEF sortie. (All photographs: Alessandro Fucito)
The Swiss Hornets standard configuration included the centerline fuel tank, two AIM-9X and two AIM-120 AAMs. Some aircraft flew with one AIM-120 and the ATFLIR pod.

At any given time, each CAP station involved six Hornets: two aircraft flying the assigned racetrack, two heading to the CAP racetrack to relieve the first pair and another two returning to base at the end of their “on station” time. This year, no F-5E/F Tiger took part in the operation…

A Swiss AF Hornet about to land at Meiringen airbase. Note the 121.5 text, meant as a message to an intercepted aircraft to switch the radio to the international emergency frequency 121.5 MHz.The Austrian Air Force contributed to the enforcement of the NFZ too, with its Eurofighter Typhoons.

The Aviationist’s Alessandro Fucito went to Meiringen and took the photographs you can find in this post.

Take off at dusk for this Staffel 11 F/A-18C Hornet. This year, the venerable F-5 Tiger jets did not take part in the WEF air defense efforts.
About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.