BOEING HAS been awarded a three-year contract for full-rate production of 78 F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets for the US Navy as part of its fleet modernisation efforts. More specifically, these comprise 61 single-seat F/A-18Es and 17 twin-seat F/A-18Fs. The deal, awarded by US Naval Air Systems Command on March 20, is a ceiling priced $4,040,458,297 modification to convert a previously awarded advanced acquisition contract to a fixed-price-incentive-firm-target multi-year contract. The target price for this multi-year contract is $4,001,410,000.
The contract is financed by US Navy fiscal year 2018 and 2019 aircraft procurement funding and is expected to be completed in April 2024. An initial $1,557,334,000 was released at the time of contract award. US Navy officials estimate this multi-year model saves a minimum of $395 million on this contract.
The Block III configuration adds capability upgrades that include enhanced network capability, longer range, reduced radar signature, an advanced cockpit system and an enhanced communication system. Boeing will begin converting existing Block II Super Hornets to Block III early in the next decade. The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours.