The US Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Boeing an $862.2 million contract to build 18 Super Hornet strike fighter aircraft.
According to a Pentagon announcement, Boeing is to deliver 15 single-seat F/A-18/E variants and 3 two-seat F/A-18/F variants.
Boeing is expected to complete the work under the contract in June 2020.
The F/A-18E/F are the US Navy’s multi-role attack and fighter aircraft which achieved first flight in November 1995. They were declared operational in September 2001 and saw initial combat action in November 2002.
The Block III Super Hornets form the backbone of the US Navy carrier air wing and can perform a range of missions including air superiority, day/night strike with precision-guided weapons, fighter escort, close air support, suppression of enemy air defenses, maritime strike, reconnaissance, forward air control and tanker missions.
Boeing is currently also working on the modernization of the navy’s existing Super Hornet fleet under a contract from March this year. The company will extend the service life of Super Hornet aircraft from the original 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours.