I noticed on this photo of an F-18 from Wikipedia that the tail of this F-18 Super Hornet has multiple small bulges on it and I was wondering if anyone knows what the purpose of those bulges are?


2 Answers 2


As visible in the following cutaway (numbers E77 to E80 and F14 - cutaway source), we find:

On the right vertical stabiliser, top down:

  • Position light
  • ALQ-214 aft low/high-band receiving antenna
  • ALR-67 aft receiving antenna
  • Fuel dump outlet

On the left vertical stabiliser, top down:

  • ALQ-214 high-band transmitter antenna
  • ALQ-214 low-band transmitter antenna
  • ALR-67 aft receiving antenna

The ALQ-214 is a jammer (brochure, pdf) while the ALR-67 is a radar warning system. Note that the ALQ-214 consists also in a forward transmitter antenna (E35) located on the leading edge of the left strake. "Fuel dump outlet" should be self-explanatory 😉

F-18 cutaway


They are antennas

This is the F/A-18A, but mostly the same as your depicted F model. enter image description here

A Swiss C model:

enter image description here

From https://www.aircraftrecognitionguide.com/mcdonnell-douglas-f-18


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