U.S. aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co has unveiled the concept of future F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet fighter aircraft during Sea-Air-Space 2019, the largest maritime exposition in the U.S.
Boeing also announced Monday that the U.S. Navy will receive the Block III Super Hornet fighters and its next-gen capabilities through 2033 as our teams deliver new aircraft and update existing aircraft through the Service Life Modification program.
The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet is the newest highly capable, affordable and available tactical aircraft in U.S. Navy inventory. The Super Hornet is the backbone of the U.S. Navy carrier air wing now and for decades to come.
The Block III configuration adds capability upgrades that include enhanced network capability, longer range, reduced radar signature, an advanced cockpit system and an enhanced communication system.
“The initial focus of this program will extend the life of the fleet from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours,” early said Mark Sears, SLM program director. “But SLM will expand to include Block II to Block III conversion, systems grooming and reset and O-level maintenance tasks designed to deliver a more maintainable aircraft with an extended life and more capability. Each of these jets will fly another 10 to 15 years, so making them next-generation aircraft is critical.”
Boeing will begin converting existing Block II Super Hornets to Block III early in the next decade. The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 9,000 hours.
With a three-year contract award in March 2019 for 78 F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets, Boeing will play a vital role in the U.S. Navy’s fleet modernization efforts.