Boeing plans to integrate new stealth functionalities and updated mission systems and avionics into the U.S. Navy’s fleet of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft as part of a program to extend the fighter jets’ service life, TheDrive.com reported Thursday.
Mark Sears, director of Super Hornet service life modification division at Boeing, said the company intends to start overhaul work on the service branch’s Super Hornet in April 2018, TheDrive.com cited an Aviation Week report.
The overhaul program seeks to add approximately 3,000 flight hours to the aircraft’s current service life of 6,000 flight hours as part of the military branch’s plan to keep the jets operational through 2040.
Sears told Aviation Week Tuesday possible additions to the fighter jets as part of the overhaul work include low-observable features in an effort to bring the existing fleet closer to the Advanced Super Hornet or Block III configuration.
He noted that possible stealth features that might be incorporated into the fighter jet include an LO “coating” material to the aircraft or potential use of radar absorbent material portions to replace the jet’s existing components, the report added.