Boeing delivered the first operational Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet to the US Navy, the manufacturer reported on September 27, 2021.
The upgrade includes a new cockpit display as well as a faster computer processor. The jet is ready to receive apps-based solutions that will allow upgrades to the aircraft throughout its life span,” Boeing said in a statement. The plane maker received a $4 billion contract to deliver 78 Block III Super Hornets to the Navy.
“We invested in Block III technology and developed the capabilities in partnership with the U.S. Navy to meet its emerging requirements,” said Jen Tebo, Boeing vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18G programs. “The hardware upgrades are complete. Today we are maximizing the open hardware and software and developing the apps to keep Block III ahead of future threats. We are giving Navy pilots the tools to make the fastest and most informed decisions possible now and in the future.”
Special delivery for the fleet! The first Block III F/A-18 #SuperHornet takes off for the @USNavy. This aircraft will complete the U.S. Navy flight test program before deploying to a squadron. pic.twitter.com/bn9fiG0sNJ— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) September 27, 2021
The first Block III F/A-18 Super Hornet will now be tested by the US Navy before being deployed to an active squadron.
“The fleet needs capabilities to keep its edge,” said Jason Denney, the US Navy F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager. “Getting the first operational Block III in our hands is a great step forward in supporting our capability and readiness goals.”
On June 7, 2021, Boeing and the US Navy carried out the first successful unmanned air-to-air refueling in history by using the MQ-25 T1 test asset to service a F/A-18 Super Hornet.