US Navy orders more Super Hornets
According to Boeing, an additional 14 F/A-18E/Fs have been ordered for the US Navy. The deal covers full-rate production and delivery of six Lot 41 single-seat F/A-18E and eight twin-seat F/A-18F aircraft and work is expected to be completed in February 2019. Procurement of the Super Hornet is reportedly to overcome a shortage of strike fighters in the US Navy. The original FY2017 US Navy budget had only earmarked $185m to purchase two Super Hornets, but its ‘Unfunded Requirements List’ (URL), which was also sent to Congress, sought an additional 14 F/A-18E/Fs. To further address the fighter shortfall, the US Navy is looking to buy at least 80 F/A-18E/Fs over the next five years, a major change from the original plan to end Super Hornet procurement next year. In the FY2018 budget request, the navy is seeking $1.25bn for 14 more F/A-18E/Fs, with additional aircraft to follow as part of the Future Years Defence Programme (FYDP).