U.S. aerospace giant Boeing announced on 8 May that first F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet test jet has rolled out of final assembly.
“Two of these test jets will head to the U.S. Navy, where they’ll help pilots familiarize themselves with the updated jets and be used in carrier flight tests,” the company said on Twitter.
The F/A-18 Block III Super Hornet is the newest highly capable, affordable and available tactical aircraft in U.S. Navy inventory. The Super Hornet is the backbone of the U.S. Navy carrier air wing now and for decades to come.
The combat-proven Super Hornet delivers cutting-edge, next-generation multi-role strike fighter capability, outdistancing current and emerging threats well into the future. The Super Hornet has the capability, flexibility and performance necessary to modernize the air or naval aviation forces of any country.
Two versions of the Super Hornet – the single-seat E model and the two-seat F model – are able to 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 defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.
Boeing is expected to deliver the Block III test jets to the Navy as early as late spring, where subsequent testing will commence at both NAS Patuxent River and Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake.
This latest version of the Super Hornet includes an advanced cockpit system; advanced network infrastructure; reduced radar cross-section; and a 10,000-flight hour lifespan.
The first #FA18 Block III #SuperHornet test jet has rolled out of final assembly. Two of these test jets will head to the @USNavy, where they’ll help pilots familiarize themselves with the updated jets and be used in carrier flight tests. pic.twitter.com/ojmn7Uy4Z0
— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) May 8, 2020