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Super Hornet upgrades to begin in Spring

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posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 05:19 PM
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Boeing plans to begin Phase I of the Service Life Extension /Block III upgrade of the Navy F-18 Super Hornet fleet in April. The first aircraft, an F-18F, will arrive in St Louis then to undergo the extension. When the aircraft leaves to return to the fleet, it will have an additional 3,000 hours on the airframe available.

Unlike with the Hornet, Boeing won't be replacing major components. They have been using various aircraft to study corrosion on the airframe. They've found that aircraft that fly more have less corrosion. Phase I of the program is concentrating on data analytics and predicting where and how bad the corrosion on the incoming aircraft is. It's believed it will take around 30 aircraft to nail that down.

Beginning around 2022, the upgrade phase will begin. That will include conformal fuel tanks, upgrades to the APG-63(V)3 radar, new defensive systems, and undisclosed RCS reduction measures to the engine inlets. At the same time, the fleet will be receiving new build Block III aircraft across the FY19-FY22 years.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 06:05 PM
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2022 is a long way off..Whats happening with the older generation frames?Keep flying till they break?



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 06:11 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

They're replacing the A/Bs (Marine Reserves) with low time airframes from AMARG that have been upgraded to C++ standards, and they have 66 new airframes that start delivering in late 2018 or early 2019. That will allow low time C/D or even some older E/F airframes to be shuffled and get more high time airframes out of circulation.
edit on 12/22/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 06:22 PM
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Then part out the A,s and B,s to keep the rest flying?



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 06:23 PM
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a reply to: Blackfinger

Mostly to keep the C/Ds going, but yes. They'll send them to AMARG and strip them and send the parts out.



posted on Dec, 22 2017 @ 10:28 PM
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I wonder if they've figured into this blowing the holy S out of the DPRK. They will thousands of hours on them in any action against them. Good question but no answers yet. Flag for a good thread. My best,



posted on Dec, 23 2017 @ 05:26 AM
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The article is in error. The Super Hornet (Block II) uses AN/APG-79 not AN/APG-63 which is what the F-15 uses.

I'm curious about the intake changes...

And good to see Boeing still making fighters for at least the next 5 years.

edit on 23/12/17 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2017 @ 08:46 AM
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On the Block 3 there is an engine upgrade too ?



posted on Dec, 23 2017 @ 09:47 AM
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a reply to: C0bzz

They didn't say it uses the APG-63, it said they're upgrading to it under the Block III upgrade.



posted on Dec, 23 2017 @ 07:06 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Which again is incorrect.

The AN/APG-63V(3) is an upgrade to the AN/APG-63V(1). Some components have been replaced with AN/APG-79 components and the parts of the software are based off the AN/APG-63V(2). Thus, the AN/APG-63V(3) is effectively a cheap and easy upgrade to bring it closer to the AN/APG-79.

Even if they wanted to, it wouldn't fit in the Super Hornet's nose cone.



posted on Dec, 27 2017 @ 07:10 PM
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Are these block upgrades also approved for the RAAF fleet as well? It would certainly be usable on the first 24 F's we bought. Not sure how it will impact on the Growler's however.




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