Boeing has rolled out the first of two Block III F/A-18F Super Hornet jets for the US Navy, a video of the same was released on the official Boeing Twitter account Friday.
The US Navy will use these jets for various flight tests and to explore new concepts of operation ahead of the delivery of jets with the complete Block III package, which is set to begin later this year.
The Block III Super Hornets are being offered to India as part India’s aircraft carrier requirement. Poor performance with the MiG-29K jets has forced the Indian Navy to look at Western-made aircraft.
According to a Boeing statement, “the Block III version which is currently being manufactured for the United States Navy will enable the Indian armed forces to challenge the next generation of adversaries. It can perform virtually every mission in the tactical spectrum including air superiority, day/night strike with precision guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defence, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and buddy refueling.”
The Block III Super Hornet changes include an advanced cockpit, new computing & advanced data link, conformal fuel tanks, increased airframe life and ability to carry wide variety of weapons.
Boeing plans to demonstrate the compatibility of its F-18 Super Hornet to take off and land from the decks of Indian Navy’s aircraft carriers which use the ski-jump take-off system. It has offered to demonstration the Jet to Indian officials from a land-based ski jump facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.
The F-18 is in the race for the Indian Navy’s tender for 57 carrier-based fighter jets and competing with Dassault Aviation’s Rafale.