Boeing will cease manufacturing the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet at the end of 2025 unless it receives an overseas order. The final aircraft to be made is due to be delivered to the United States Navy.
“We are planning for our future, and building fighter aircraft is in our DNA,” Boeing Air Dominance vice president Steve Nordlund said in a press release. “As we invest in and develop the next era of capability, we are applying the same innovation and expertise that made the F/A-18 a workhorse for the U.S. Navy and air forces around the world for nearly 40 years.”
Introduced in 1999, The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a revamped version of the Classic Hornet developed in the 1970s, with new engines and an enlarged airframe. Though its predecessor proved to be a substantial success abroad, the Super Hornet didn’t find favor with foreign air forces.
In the past few years, the Super Hornet has participated in several international tenders but failed to win any orders. Finland, Switzerland, Canada, and Germany all preferred its more advanced rival, the Lockheed Martin F-35A.
The final competition in which the Super Hornet is a contender is for the Multi-Role Carrier Borne Fighters (MRCBF) program of the Indian Navy. The F/A-18 is pitched against the Dassault Rafale M, for a potential order of 26 carrier-borne fighters to arm the INS Vikrant, India’s first indigenous aircraft carrier.
If the Indian Navy does choose the Super Hornet, production could be extended to 2027.