First Super Hornet Block III delivered to the US Navy.
Boeing delivered the first two Super Hornets F / A-18 Block III to the US Navy for flight tests. One of them is a single seat E model and the other is a two seat F model.
“The aircraft will be used for integration testing of all components of the Block III mission system,” said Steve Wade, vice president of Boeing’s F / A-18 and E / A-18G Programs. “These test aircraft will ensure crews have enough time to get comfortable with the new next-generation systems before receiving operational aircraft.”
The Navy will use the aircraft to familiarize pilots with the new advanced cockpit system’s 10 x 19-inch touchscreen and to test the capabilities delivered with the improved network.
In addition to these enhancements, the Block III configuration adds capability updates that include increased range, reduced radar signature, and an improved communication system. The life of the fighter will also extend from 6,000 to 10,000 hours.
Last year, Boeing received a contract from the U.S. Navy for 78 Super Hornets Block III aircraft. Boeing and Navy test teams have also flown prototypes with compliant fuel tanks.