The first of 78 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III was delivered to the US Navy on 24 September 2021.
The F/A-18F, BuNo 169973, will first complete the US Navy flight test programme with Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 31 ('DD-2xx') at NAWS China Lake (CA) before being deployed to an operational squadron.
According to Boeing: "The Block III gives the Navy the most networked and survivable F/A-18 built with a technology insertion plan that will outpace future threats." Block III’s new adjunct processor translates to a fighter that will do more work and in far less time increasing a pilot’s situational awareness. The jet is ready to receive apps-based solutions that will allow upgrades to the aircraft throughout its life span.
Deliveries of the Block III Super Hornet (F/A-18E and F/A-18F) will continue through the mid-2030s from three different productionlines. One new build production, and two Service Life Modification (SLM) lines extending the life and eventually upgrading Block II Super Hornets to Block III.
Photo via Boeing