Boeing delivered the first of 78 contracted Block III F/A-18 Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy this month.
Block III is the most advanced version of the Super Hornet and exceeds fourth-generation fighter capabilities, say Boeing.
“The fleet needs capabilities to keep its edge,” said Capt. Jason Denney, U.S. 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.”
Block III is ready to receive software 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 U.S. Navy to meet its emerging requirements,” said Jen Tebo, Boeing vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18G programmes.
“The hardware upgrades are complete. Today we are maximizing 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.”
It is understood that new capabilities include the advanced cockpit system with a 10-inch-by-19-inch touch screen display, enhanced networking, open mission systems, reduced radar signature and a 10,000-hour airframe.