Mar 9, 2015

US Navy extend F/A-18 Hornet service lives

The aging F/A-18 Hornet fleet will remain the bulk of the Navy's strike fighter power into the next two decades, forcing the service to extend the airframe's life from its initial 6,000 hours to 10,000 and possibly beyond.
About 40 F/A-18 A-D Hornets went through upgrades at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest in San Diego in the last fiscal year,and 50 more are scheduled for the current fiscal year.
Those revamped Hornets will stay in service as the Navy transitions to the F-35C in the next decade, with F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets remaining in squadrons through the 2030s.
The Navy has been the F-35's smallest customer, ordering two new aircraft for 2015, which lawmakers doubled to four. In the first seven years of production, the Navy has ordered 30 F-35s. The Navy has ordered four of the stealth fighters for fiscal 2016.
The Marine Corps, by contrast, requested six F-35Bs and the Air Force requested 26 F-35As, bringing their totals to 66 and 130, respectively.
The Hornet and Super Hornet, introduced to the fleet in the early 80s and mid-90s, respectively, can theoretically fly past their 10,000-hour life extension.
Super Hornets will leave service around 2035.

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