Boeing was trying to persuade the U.S. government to fill a “fighter gap” in naval aviation this fighter gap has been growing for years, and been worsen by delays in production of new “carrier-variant” F-35C stealth fighter jets from Lockheed Martin.
The Motley Fool page said just last month, Aviation Week reported that the Navy has green-lighted a plan floated by Boeing to shore up the Navy’s fighter fleet with new “Advanced Super Hornet” fighter jets, also known as the “F/A-18XT” and “Block 3 Super Hornet,”.
Boeing’s Advanced Super Hornet is an upgrade of the company’s current F/A-18E/F fighter jets, the Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine carrier-capable multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.
Among the improvements that Motley Fool said was new design features “advanced network architecture” and “advanced cockpit displays” on the inside, while on the outside conformal fuel tanks adding 100 to 120 nautical miles to the plane’s range, and providing a stealthier radar profile.
Citing a “detailed blueprint” obtained from the U.S. Navy, Aviation Week reports that the Navy is planning to invest roughly $265 million upgrading F/A-18s to Boeing’s new design between 2019 and 2022. Boeing expects to have the Advanced Super Hornet design ready for action by 2019. Logically, this means that by 2019, the Navy will be able to make informed choices between buying pricier fifth-generation F-35Cs or buying cheaper F/A-18s equipped with Boeing’s new upgrades.