According to a company news release, it delivered the first of 78 contracted Block III F/A-18 Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy.
“The fleet needs capabilities to keep its edge,” said Capt. Jason “Stuf” Denney, U.S. Navy F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager. “Getting the first operational Block III in our hands is a great step forward in supporting our capability and readiness goals.”
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 U.S. 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 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.”
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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 U.S. Navy flight test program before deploying to a squadron.
Boeing is also now offering Block III Super Hornets, or at least jets with some of the elements of this package, to foreign customers, such as Canada and India.
The Super Hornets that Kuwait recently received, the last of which were delivered this month, had included components — such as the new cockpit displays — that are now going into Block III jets, as well.