Boeing suspends orders for the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet

WASHINGTON, US — Boeing announced that the production line for F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters will be shut down in 2025. Production of the F-18 has continued in various variants since 1974.

American F-18 fighter received fuel in the air from a drone
Photo credit: Boeing

If the US company Boeing wins the tender for carrier-based fighters in India, it could take another two years to close the production line. The modernization of the already delivered and armed Super Hornet aircraft will continue even after production is stopped.

For the first time, Boeing is offering a definitive timeline for ending production. It is said that this means that the corporate perspective has changed and resources will be redirected to new products. Systems developed primarily in large military programs continue to be produced and used as long as possible.

But instead of keeping the Super Hornet alive any longer, Boeing will put its financial resources and manpower into promising projects like the F-15EX, T-7A, and MQ-25. Boeing plans to direct about 1,500 employees who support the Super Hornet program to these projects.

It said the St. Louis production line would continue to be used to produce new types of aircraft. In the future, 6th generation fighter jets may also be produced at this facility.

More than 2,000 F-18s were produced

The F-18 was originally developed by McDonnell Douglas. Later, with the acquisition of the company by Boeing, the production passed into the hands of Boeing. A total of more than 2,000 F-18 fighters were produced, including the F-18 Hornet, Super Hornet, and Growler variants.

The company will not accept any other orders for this year, except for an additional 8 Super Hornet orders approved by the US Congress. A total of 20 new F-18 Super Hornet orders were placed by Congress, 12 in 2022 and 8 more in 2023. After deliveries of 8 additional packages are completed in 2025, the line will be shut down.

F/A-18E SH, Rafale and MiG-29 begin their battle for the Indian Navy
Photo credit: Wikimedia

Thus, a total of 698 Super Hornets will be added to the US Navy inventory within 30 years. The F-18, first produced by McDonnell Douglas in 1974, will remain in production for exactly 51 years if you count the Hornet version along with the production shutdown. The Super Hornet entered production in 1995 and would spend 30 years in production.

The program to upgrade the Super Hornet aircraft in the US Navy inventory to the Block III level also continues. Along these lines, some of the modernization works within the modernization program will continue.


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