Boeing awarded $73m contract to modernize US Navy Super Hornets

Boeing has been awarded a contract to modernize the U.S. Navy F/A-18 fleet, extending the life of existing Super Hornets from 6,000 to 9,000+ flight hours. In the early 2020s, Boeing will begin installing initial updates to the aircraft that will convert existing Block II Super Hornets to a new Block III configuration.

The Block III conversion will include enhanced network capability, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, signature improvements and an enhanced communication system. The updates are expected to keep the F/A-18 in active service for decades to come.

F18 Super Hornet 02

According to company’s official announcement; “The initial focus of this program will extend the life of the fleet from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours,” 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.”

The Super Hornet Block III could incorporate a new 10” x 19” large screen cockpit display as first proposed for Boeing’s Advanced Super Hornet concept.

F18 Super Hornet 03 cockpit

Follow us on Twitter; @navalstrategy76

Boeing responded Indian Navy RFI about 57 jets for its aircraft carriers

Boeing has pitched its Advanced F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets to India as it seeks to carve a bigger share of the defense market in the South Asian country, among the world’s biggest arms importers.

The Indian Navy last year invited proposals for 57 jets for its aircraft carriers, while the Indian Air Force (IAF) is seeking at least 100 twin-engine fighter planes along with an equal number or more of single engine jets in a different category. Boeing and Saab AB have said in the past that India should combine the two – IAF and Navy – parallel procurements, which would make it the world’s biggest fighter jet order.

The aerospace giant, which already has the biggest share among the US companies in India, is among the multinational respondents now discussing some Requests for Information (RFIs) for potential partnerships with the Indian industry.

F18 Super Hornet 04

“We would expect them to pull together more definitive requirements based on the inputs that they would have and then move forward with a tender,” said Gene Cunningham, Boeing’s Vice President For Defense, Space and Security adding that, Boeing is looking at local partners to fulfill the ‘Make In India’ part of any potential deal and expects to have preliminary relationships stitched by the end of this year.

Follow us on Twitter; @navalstrategy76