US Navy received final Block 2 Super Hornet

Boeing Super Hornet launches from US Aircraft Carrier.

The US Navy (USN) has received into service its final Block 2 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft, ahead of the retrofit and new-build Block 3 upgrade effort learned GDC quoting the US Navy.

The USN announced on 24 April that the 608th (322 single-seat F/A-18Es and 286 twin-seat F/A-18Fs) retrofitted and new-build Block 2 Super Hornet to be delivered since 2005 was handed over on 17 April. Aircraft F/A-18E 322 is being delivered to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34, based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia.

“Delivery of this last production Block 2 Super Hornet is […] a stepping stone along the path to continuously evolving our platforms to meet the US Navy’s ever-evolving needs,” said Captain Jason Denney, Program Manager of the F/A-18 and EA-18 Program Office (PMA-265). “Block 3 delivery is just steps behind and the production lines won’t miss a beat, with the first two US Navy Block 3 test jets delivering in the next two months, followed by delivery of 24 E/F aircraft over the next year for our international customer, Kuwait.”

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Capt Denney’s noting of the “continuously evolving” philosophy of the USN’s aircraft platforms in general mirrors earlier comments made to Jane’s and other defence media regarding the Hornet-series in particular.

With the first F/A-18A/B Hornet designed to be a multimission, programmable strike fighter, the F/A-18C/D variants of the late 1980s built on this with enhanced avionics and a more lethal systems and weapons package. The F/A-18C/D then became the F/A-18C/D Night Attack in the early 1990s before the Hornet became the F/A-18E/F Block 1 Super Hornet in the late 1990s.

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