The U.S. Navy is leveraging increased military spending from the Trump administration to launch a multifaceted modernization effort for its F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters. Eventually all of the Super Hornets on carrier decks, both newly-built and previously-fielded, will be upgraded to a “Block III” configuration with greater range, payload, precision and resilience. The previously-fielded planes will also see their service lives extended by 50%, from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours. The combination of F/A-18 upgrades and introduction of stealthy F-35C fighters on carrier decks signals that Navy air wings will become a lot more capable in the years ahead. It also signals that Super Hornet will remain a centerpiece of naval aviation for decades to come. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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