On March 1 the U.S. Navy awarded Boeing an indefinite delivery contract to begin overhauling the service’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet, which currently numbers 568 aircraft.
Known as the Service Life Modernization (SLM) program, the rework focuses on two main elements: extending the service life of the aircraft from 6,000 to more than 9,000 flight hours, and upgrading the aircraft’s systems and operational capabilities to a new Block III configuration.
To get SLM under way, Boeing will induct four airframes into the structural life extension program in April. The company has already examined two aircraft to establish some of the work required to extend airframe life. The rework will be nowhere near as extensive as that engineered for the “legacy” Hornet fleet, which required an entire center fuselage barrel replacement, but will focus mainly on correcting the ravages of corrosion, an omnipresent issue for carrier-borne aircraft. – AINonline
Featured image by Boeing
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