The End is Near for F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet Production
February 18, 2014 9:19 AM
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Boeing thinks the EA-18 Growler is the most likely version to be purchased by the US
One of the staples U.S. Navy for a number of years has been the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighter. However, reports indicate that the new U.S. defense budget that is set to be unveiled next month has no allowance for purchasing new versions of the fighter.
New purchases of the electronic attack version called the EA-18G Growler are also nonexistent. Some in Washington want to continue to purchase the aircraft with a $75 million defense appropriations bill that would call for the purchase of 22 new aircraft. Boeing, the maker of the Super Hornet, also wants the military to purchase more EA-18G aircraft.
The Hornet has been around since the 1970's and replaced the F-14 Tomcat and A-6 Prowler. When the last orders are completed, the Navy will have 563 Super Hornets and 138 Growlers. The current orders will have production of the aircraft continuing through 2016.
Boeing says that 90,000 full time jobs around the country are dependent on Super Hornet production, and the company is currently shopping the jet to foreign nations now. Boeing had hoped to court Brazil with the purchase of 36 Super Hornets, but
concerns over the NSA’s spying program
led the Latin American country
into the arms of Sweden and its Saab JAS-39 Gripen NG
The existing Super Hornets will be
supplemented by the troubled
F-35 Lightning II
for U.S. Navy duties.
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RE: The Super Hornet was always a stop gap for the JSF (F-35) development
2/18/2014 2:15:53 PM
Hornet/Super Hornet high time is based on sensors that electronically measure airframe fatigue. The frame itself can replaced, its a big tube and they have the jigs to replace it, the rest of the airframe is composite. The some of the early A and B Hornets are still flying, its just a matter of need and cost to replace the "tube." Zero timing coventional airframes is more costly, because they were never designed to be zero timed in the first place. We used to screw with the Hornet guys about their plastic jets...
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