The US Navy has awarded Boeing Co. a $73.2 million contract for work on the service life extension of the first four F/A-18E/F aircraft.
The contract will see Boeing extend the service life of Super Hornet aircraft from the original 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours.
The first aircraft are reaching the 6,000 flight hours this year after entering service with the US Navy in 1999.
Service life extension work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and El Segundo, California, and is expected to be completed in April 2020.
Prior to getting the service life extension work underway, Boeing completed an assessment of the extent of work that would be required for the service life extension. The assessment was carried out after unexpected problems in the form of major structural damage occurred during service life extension work on the navy’s F/A-18A-D Hornets.
According to a USNI News report from Oct. 2017, Boeing’s service life modification program director Mark Sears expects the Super Hornets to avoid these problems as the first aircraft examined as part of the assessment did not reveal major issues.