Report: Boeing Plans UAV Addon To Super Hornet; Mike Gibbons Comments

U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Evelyn Chavez

Boeing is working on upgrades for its F/A-18 Super Hornet fleet to keep it marketable for another decade, Military.com reports.

Mike Gibbons, Boeing vice president of operations for its F/A-18s and E/A-18G Growlers, told the website said the upgrades planned for the Super Hornet match those found on Insitu’s ScanEagle drone.

Chief among the upgrades lined up for the E and F model jets include the capability to launch and maneuver unmanned aerial vehicles.

According to the report, dditional upgrades will include a stealth weapons pod; conformal fuel tanks located in the upper fuselage that store more than 3,500 gallons of fuel; and General Electric engines that are fuel-efficient and produce 20 percent more thrust.

Boeing has not yet received any official contracts to upgrade the Super Hornets, but the website reports that a research and development study is already underway in case of future requests.

For the Growler, the company recently added a new cockpit subassembly in partnership with an India-based defense electronics firm.

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