Boeing will upgrade additional F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet fighters for the US Navy and Marine Corps through a recently awarded $238 million contract extension.
The work at the company’s Cecil Field facility will keep the aircraft ‘modern and mission ready’ say the company. It includes high flight-hour inspections, periodic maintenance inspections, in-service repair and modifications, upgrades and engineering.
Boeing F/A-18 Sustainment program director Travis McBurnett said:
“Our mission is to support the Navy’s effort to improve readiness. Since 1999, the Boeing Cecil Field team has returned 880 modified or repaired F/A-18s to the Navy and Marines.
We look forward to delivering many more in the coming years.”
The F/A-18 first saw combat action in April 1986, when VFA-131, VFA-132, VMFA-314, and VMFA-323 Hornets from USS Coral Sea flew SEAD missions against Libyan air defenses during Operation Prairie Fire and an attack on Benghazi as part of Operation El Dorado Canyon.
During the Gulf War of 1991, the US Navy deployed 106 F/A-18A/C Hornets and Marine Corps deployed 84 F/A-18A/C/D Hornets. F/A-18 pilots were credited with two kills during the Gulf War, both MiG-21s. On the 17th of January, the first day of the war, US Navy pilots Lieutenant Commander Mark I.
Fox and his wingman, Lieutenant Nick Mongilio were sent from USS Saratoga in the Red Sea to bomb an airfield in southwestern Iraq. While en route, they were warned by an E-2C of approaching MiG-21 aircraft. The Hornets shot down the two MiGs with AIM-7 and AIM-9 missiles in a brief dogfight. The F/A-18s, each carrying four 2,000lb bombs, then resumed their bombing run before returning to Saratoga.