BOEING DEFENSE and Space has begun final assembly of the first of 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets for the Kuwait Air Force (KAF). A short video released by the manufacturer on January 22 shows the initial example, single-seat F/A-18E ‘KAF1’, coming together on the production line in St Louis, Missouri.
Final assembly had commenced in December and first flight is scheduled for early this year. It Will initially be delivered to the US Navy for testing this summer. The first aircraft are expected to arrive in Kuwait in the early 2020s. The KAF Super Hornets Will be to the US Navy’s latest Block 3 standard and will have the most advanced cockpit currently available.
The KAF has ordered 22 F/A-18Es ans six two-seat F/A-18Fs. An initial Foreign Military Sales contract with a not-to-exceed value of $1,165,068,022 was awarded to Boeing by US Naval Air Systems Command on March 30, 2018, for long-lead non-recurring engineering required to develop a baseline configuration for the production and delivery of these 28 aircraft for the KAF. An initial $275,850,901 was released at the time of the award. This was followed by a fixed-price-incentive-firm production contract, valued at $1,504,995,240, for manufacture of the aircraft on June 28, 2018.