Boeing has delivered the first two F/A-18 Block
III Super Hornets to the U.S. Navy for flight testing.
One jet is a single-seat E model and the
other (pictured) is a two-seat F model.
“The aircraft will be used for carrier suitability
and integration testing of all Block III mission system
components,” said Steve Wade, Boeing vice president, F/A-18 &
EA-18G programs. “These test jets will ensure crews have plenty of
time to become comfortable with the new, next-generation systems
before receiving operational aircraft.”
The Navy will use the aircraft to familiarize
pilots with the advanced cockpit system’s new 10-inch by 19-inch
touchscreen display and test the capabilities delivered with the
enhanced network capability.
In addition to these enhancements, the Block III
configuration adds capability upgrades that include longer range,
reduced radar signature and an enhanced communication system.
fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000
Last year, Boeing was awarded a contract from the
Navy for 78 Block III Super Hornets. Boeing and Navy test teams
have also flown conformal fuel tank prototypes.