U.S. aerospace manufacturer Boeing Co said on Wednesday it is awarded a three-year contract for 78 F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets.
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. 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 10,000 hours.
This new multi-year contract benefits the U.S. Navy and Boeing by allowing both to schedule future production and Navy officials estimate this multi-year model saves a minimum of $395 million on this contract valued at approximately $4 billion.
“This multiyear contract will provide significant savings for taxpayers and the U.S. Navy while providing the capacity it needs to help improve readiness,” said Dan Gillian, vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18G programs. “A multiyear contract helps the F/A-18 team seek out suppliers with a guaranteed three years of production, instead of negotiating year to year. It helps both sides with planning, and we applaud the U.S. Navy on taking the appropriate steps needed to help solve its readiness challenges.”
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 combat-proven Super Hornet delivers cutting-edge, next-generation multi-role strike fighter capability, outdistancing current and emerging threats well into the future. The Super Hornet has the capability, flexibility and performance necessary to modernize the air or naval aviation forces of any country.
Two versions of the Super Hornet – the single-seat E model and the two-seat F model – are able to perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum, including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.