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First Operational Block III FA-18 Super Hornet

The first operational Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet lifts off over Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, 24 September 2021 [Boeing: Eric Shindelbower]

Boeing delivers first operational Block III FA-18 Super Hornet to the US Navy ~ Block III is the most advanced Super Hornet version.


Press Release, Arlington, 27 September 2021: Boeing delivered the first of 78 contracted Block III F/A-18 Super Hornets to the US Navy. Block III gives the Navy the most networked and survivable F/A-18 built with a technology insertion plan that will outpace future threats.

“The fleet needs capabilities to keep its edge,” said Capt. Jason ‘Stuf’ Denney, US Navy F/A-18 and EA-18G programme manager. “Getting the first operational Block III in our hands is a great step forward in supporting our capability and readiness goals.”

Boeing’s ramp team prepares DCMA pilots for flight ahead of delivering the first Block III Super Hornet [Boeing: Eric Shindelbower]

Block III’s new adjunct processor translates to a fighter that will do more work and in far less time increasing a pilot’s situational awareness. The jet is ready to receive apps-based solutions that will allow upgrades to the aircraft throughout its life span.

“We invested in Block III technology and developed the capabilities in partnership with the US Navy to meet its emerging requirements,” said Jen Tebo, Boeing vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18G programs. “The hardware upgrades are complete. Today we are maximising the open hardware and software and developing the apps to keep Block III ahead of future threats. We are giving Navy pilots the tools to make the fastest and most informed decisions possible now and in the future.”

Boeing will continue to deliver Block III capabilities to the Navy through the mid-2030s from three lines. One new build production, and two Service Life Modification lines extending the life and eventually upgrading Block II Super Hornets to Block III. The first aircraft delivered will complete the US Navy flight test program before deploying to a squadron.

The US Navy’s first Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet taxis towards the runway ahead of its delivery flight to Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland
[Boeing: Eric Shindelbower]


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