Dan Gillian, program manager for Boeing’s Super Hornet and Growler aircraft, told Defense News that the 10-year program is meant to increase the service life of the Navy’s Super Hornets from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours and upgrade them into the latest Block III configuration.
The Navy awarded Boeing a $73.2 million contract in February to carry out service life extension work on the first four Super Hornet aircraft.
Gillian said Boeing will increase the lifespan of the first batch of jets to 7,500 hours over an 18-month period, then bring back the planes to the Navy.
The four Super Hornets will return to the defense contractor in 2022 to obtain Block III upgrades and a full service life extension to 9,000 hours.
Gillian noted that Boeing plans to speed up the service life modification process to 12 months and modernize 40 to 50 aircraft every year.