Boeing has offered a Block III upgrade for US Navy's F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet as a move to resolve shortfall of fifth generation F-35 fighter aircrafts.
The Super Hornets are considered as a cheaper alternative to the fifth-generation Lightning II. "The initial effort to close the strike fighter gap is through addressing “capacity and capability,” Dan Gillian, Boeing vice president and Super Hornet program manager was quoted as saying by Sea Power Tuesday.
"Boeing is building two new aircraft a month. It is also conducting sustainment for existing airplaines and new program of service-life modification to extend Super Hornets' operational life from 6000 hours to 9000 hours," Gilliona said.
"After analysis in coordination with the Navy and a detailed inspection of two aircraft, Boeing expects to start conducting the life-extension program early in 2018," said Mark Sears, program director.
The Navy has a strike fighter capacity problem because the Super Hornets have been flying a lot more than expected due to the 16 years of nearly constant combat in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, Gillian noted. That means the fighters are burning up their flight hours faster than expected.
But looking to the future, Boeing is proposing a major increase in capability through the Super Hornet Block III program, he said.
One goal of the Block III proposal is to make the Super Hornet “a smart node” in the Navy’s Integrated Fire Control Counter-Air (NIFC-CA) network, Gillian explained.
"They would do that by adding the distributed targeting network and the tactical targeting technology system, both of which are official programs of record," he said.
The first is “a big computer” and the second ‘is a big data pipe.” Gillian said they also think “we can do a little bit to improve its stealth capabilities. They also would install conformal fuel tanks that would extend the Hornet’s operating range by 120 nautical miles or 30 minutes on station, and make the aircraft faster by eliminating the underwing fuel tanks, he said.
They also think they can produce a 9,000-hour airplane off the production line, he added. The new aircraft also will have an advanced cockpit with larger displays and will incorporate the integrated infrared (IR) track-and-search system, a long-range, passive counter-air sensor.
Gillian said that IR sensor is a good example of Hornets proving “complementary capabilities” to the F-35s, because it is that no other aircraft in the carrier air wing has.
Boeing could start delivering Block III aircraft in the early 2020s, and then start retrofitting existing jets through the service life modification a little later.
The US Navy has awarded a contract worth $2.1 billion to Boeing for the delivery of 17 P-8A Poseidon maritime, patrol and reconnaissance aircraft
Norway has signed a deal with the United States on Wednesday to buy five Boeing P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The contract was signed by US charge d'affaires James DeHart at the US Embassy in Oslo and Norways defense procurement chief Mette Sorfonden on March 29, the Nordic nations Defense Ministry announced wednesday
The Indian Navy is planning to de-induct TU142M Long Range Maritime Patrol aircraft after its 29 years of service today. The role of TU142M will now be taken on by the newly inducted Boeing's P-8I aircraft, the Ministry of Defense announced Sunday
Boeing has been awarded a contract worth $3.2 billion to produce Apache attack helicopters for Saudi Arabia
Boeing has won a five-year contract to continue to provide maintenance services for South Korea's F-15K aircraft. Boeing has been sustaining the Korean Air Force's F-15K fleet since 2012, the company said in a statement released Sunday
The US State Department has approved more than $101-million sale of radio communications and missile countermeasures systems to Australia for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat jets. Australia requested the possible sale of thirty-two Multifunctional Information Distribution System Joint Tactical Radio System (MIDS JTRS) with four channel Concurrent Multi-Network (CMN-4), and thirty-nine AN/ALQ-214A(V)4 Countermeasure Systems
Boeing has been awarded a US Navy contract worth $89 million to provide additional depot-level maintenance support and sustainment for the F/A-18 Super hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft. “The Boeing Co
Lockheed Martin's fifth Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) satellite will support US Naval troops with ultra high frequency communications. The MUOS-5 satellite has completed Global Military Cellular Network as spare for next-generation capabilities
US Military Health System officials are working on lenses that can block the light that blocks the brains production of melatonin to help prevent sleep deprivation. “Sleep deprivation has been a significant and well-documented issue for service members,” said Navy Cmdr
The US Navy has awarded a contract worth $372 million to Lockheed Martin for Lot 10 F-35 Lightning II aircraft advance acquisition. “Lockheed Martin Corp
The US Navys USS Gerald R Ford ship has underwent the first of its sea trials to test its numerous systems. The aircraft carrier left Huntington Ingalls Industries-Newport News Shipbuilding after more than a year in delays and extra costs on Saturday, The Sun reported Monday
Japan's F-X Stealth Fighter to Rival US' F-22
Sikorsky to Build 6 Additional Presidential VH-92A Helicopters
Thai Air Force Lists Fighter Jet, Other Procurement Programs in White Paper
Damen to Build Supply Ship for Dutch Navy
Mobile Phone Led Israelis to Destory Pantsir-S Air Defence Battery in Syria
GA-ASI Demos Multi-Domain Operations Using Gray Eagle ER Drone
China’s Z-10 Attack Helicopter Upgraded with Powerful Engine
Russia Developing New Attack Helicopter ‘Airborne Combat Vehicle’
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...