U.S. Navy, Boeing sign contract to modernize F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet

ST. LOUIS. Boeing has finalized a contract with the U.S. Navy to modernize the Navy's fleet of 568 F/A-18 aircraft, which is intended to extend the life of existing Super Hornets from 6,000 to 9,000-plus flight hours.

Under the terms of the indefinite-delivery -- which is authorized at up to $73 million -- work will begin in April 2018 on an initial lot of four aircraft at ’s St. Louis production center; Boeing will add another production line in San Antonio, Texas in 2019, with additional follow-on contracts possible over the next 10 years.

The upgrades of the F/A-18s to the Block III format will include enhanced network capability, longer range with conformal fuel tanks, an advanced cockpit system, signature improvements, and an enhanced communication system. The updates, say Boeing officials, should keep the F/A-18 in active service for decades to come.

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