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Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet upgrades

Sundog

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Has anyone seen any information on why they moved the mounting of the inlet cheek missile forward? Does it have to do with the seeker head, aerodynamics at launch (of the missile), or a center of mass issue? I lean toward the latter, but I was just wondering why the change.
 

hobbes221

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The inlet hardpoints not only look as if they moved forward but also seem to be extended down and out as well. Take a look at the model's left side (aircraft's left, not left side of photo) AIM-120, right at the end of the missile if looks like there is a curve in the mount going back into the main body of the airframe. My guesses would be maybe to allow larger stores to be mounted or to give targeting pods a better line of sight around the drop tanks. Right now they will fly with an asymmetrical load of a center line and right wing tanks to give the TGP the best field of view.
 

Grey Havoc

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http://www.snafu-solomon.com/2017/05/advanced-super-hornet-leaders-brief.html
 

GTX

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Grey Havoc said:
http://www.snafu-solomon.com/2017/05/advanced-super-hornet-leaders-brief.html
Please tell me we aren't referencing SNAFU Blog for stories... :eek:
 

Moose

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Yeah I'd suggest going back to original source if you see things Solomon has re-posted that you think should be shared here.
 

Grey Havoc

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I didn't think that the text of that particular Boeing handout would be so controversial.

Back to the topic:

http://www.scout.com/military/warrior/story/1775413-navy-details-plan-to-fix-f-18-oxygen-problem
 

bobbymike

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http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/11355/this-syria-bound-super-hornet-is-carrying-a-uniquely-massive-bomb-load
 

NUSNA_Moebius

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Any news on what version F414 the Block III will have? Seems like it's been a while since any news on the EPE or EDE versions has come out.
 

Dragon029

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From the articles I've read thus far, the Block III won't itself bring a new engine; they'll likely just bring in EPEs, EDEs or something even newer in the future (I doubt it'll be that long of a wait though).
 

bobbymike

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http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-touts-advanced-fighter-versions-different-animals
 

Triton

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bobbymike said:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-touts-advanced-fighter-versions-different-animals
The U.S. Navy already has all the Super Hornets it originally intended to buy, but new threats and force requirements could prompt it to buy as many as 120 additional F/A-18E/Fs while transitioning to Boeing’s Block 3 model beyond fiscal 2019.
On the F/A-18 side, the Navy has decided to keep buying Super Hornets alongside the F-35C to meet an immediate need for greater numbers of strike fighters. The service’s program of record was 563 F/A-18 E/F aircraft, but now Boeing sees opportunities for significant follow-on orders. All aircraft delivered after fiscal 2019, for domestic and international customers, will be Block 3 versions.

Kuwait has been approved to buy “up to 40” F/A-18E/Fs, and Canada is considering an “interim fleet” of about 18 aircraft to bolster its outdated CF-18 Hornets. The Canadian deal could fall through, depending on how hard Boeing pushes its trade dispute with Canada over government subsidies to Montreal-based Bombardier in the commercial aircraft market. The Super Hornet is also being promoted to India and Finland. Boeing recently lost to Lockheed’s F-35 in Denmark.

Larry Burt, Boeing’s director of global sales and marketing for global strike programs, says near-term opportunities would take F/A-18 production into the mid-2020s. The company needs to build about 24 Super Hornets per year for production to remain viable.
As different as the Block 3 version of the Super Hornet is from its predecessors, Boeing is already looking at capabilities for Block 4.

“We’re not trying to be the F-35; you don’t need a fifth-gen for all missions,” he says. However, he adds that it is easier to evolve and enhance the F/A-18 and F-15 airframes than low-observable platforms like the F-35.

“You could keep evolving the mission systems, sensors and capability of the Super Hornet and maybe eventually put a new wrapper on it,” Burt notes.

The Growler is a story of “incremental innovation” for Boeing. The Navy has almost doubled its original program of record to about 160 from 88.

The service is now moving forward with planned upgrades that will keep the aircraft relevant into the 2040s. The centerpiece of the “Advanced Growler” is Raytheon’s Next-Generation Jammer, which passed a critical design review in April. Complementary features are improvements to the Growler’s integrated ALQ-218 radar warning, electronic support and electronic intelligence systems, which also are produced by Northrop.

Boeing says it is still in contract negotiations with the U.S. Navy to pull all of the planned Growler upgrades into a single service-life upgrade program, which would include an extension of the aircraft’s structural service life to 9,000 from 6,000 hr. The airframer also is pushing the GE F414 Enhanced Engine for the Growler and Super Hornet, which would provide 18% more power.
 

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bobbymike

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https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a18211702/fa-18-super-hornet-longer-legs-fuel-tanks-range/

America's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fleet, the backbone of the Navy’s fighter force, is getting new fuel tanks, as you can see in the Boeing artist's depiction above. The tanks are designed to allow the plane to fly and fight farther than ever before. It's a move that is in large part driven by a desire to stop Chinese long-range missiles that could target aircraft carriers, destroying them before they can threaten American flat-tops.
Sure I guess but why not a longer ranged - submarine or ship launched - IRBM with a BGV?
 

marauder2048

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bobbymike said:
https://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a18211702/fa-18-super-hornet-longer-legs-fuel-tanks-range/

b]It's a move that is in large part driven by a desire to stop Chinese long-range missiles that could target aircraft carriers, destroying them before they can threaten American flat-tops[/b].
It's motivated by the fact that a quarter of all Super Hornet sorties are going to be buddy tanking well into the 2030s.

The sum total of A2/AD-useful standoff strike weaponry carried by the Super Hornet in 2023 will be 90 LRASM.
So the claim in the article (amongst others) of some substantial Navy investment in standoff strike weaponry
has not been reflected in any actual budgets.
 

Foo Fighter

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bobbymike said:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-touts-advanced-fighter-versions-different-animals
I took some time to read the comments below that article and found them to be, well, shall we say interesting and leave it at that. Wow, they should have gone to confused.com
 

sferrin

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Foo Fighter said:
bobbymike said:
http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-touts-advanced-fighter-versions-different-animals
I took some time to read the comments below that article and found them to be, well, shall we say interesting and leave it at that. Wow, they should have gone to confused.com
AvWeek really took a dive when they started allowing comments. In general they contain as much dumbth as you'd see on YouTube.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
AvWeek really took a dive when they started allowing comments. In general they contain as much dumbth as you'd see on YouTube.
I trace it back to Dornheim's tragic death.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gkyz28qJc2w&feature=em-subs_digest

Block III upgrades

http://www.janes.com/article/78258/us-navy-launches-super-hornet-slep?utm_campaign=CL_Jane%27s%20360-Mar-2-2017_PC5308_e-production_E-7187_KP_0302_0735&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua
 

SpudmanWP

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SLEP <> Block3 upgrades, it's just as it says (ie adding new airframe hours at $17+_ Mil per plane).

The Block 3 upgrades are an incremental set up pre-existing plans (IRST, etc) combined with items from ASH (CFTs, etc) that will take a decade to finish testing before all of the items are complete.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/01/giving_the_super_hornet_more_punch_think_sm-6_113137.html

With four capacity weapons stations available on the Super Hornet, the SM-6 Dual I SAM could be modified to serve as a long-range air to air missile,
 

marauder2048

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bobbymike said:
https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/03/01/giving_the_super_hornet_more_punch_think_sm-6_113137.html

With four capacity weapons stations available on the Super Hornet, the SM-6 Dual I SAM could be modified to serve as a long-range air to air missile,
Both NCADE and Air-launched PAC-3 (MSE) were good ideas that the Navy desperately needs.
But I don't think you can get away from enclosed weapon pods for SAMs since they are not
designed to tolerate the temperature extremes to which air-to-air missiles are subjected.
 

LowObservable

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Buy the friggin Meteor already. Or the air-launched Stunner. Or look at AARGM-ER...
 

bobbymike

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http://aviationweek.com/defense/boeing-s-next-gen-super-hornet-will-be-sort-stealthy

President Donald Trump was ridiculed on Twitter after pronouncing during a visit to Boeing’s St. Louis facility that the company’s new F/A-18 Super Hornet will be equipped with the “latest and the greatest stealth, and a lot of things on that plane that people don’t even know about.”

But it turns out Trump was on to something. Boeing is about to kick off an exhaustive effort to transition the U.S. Navy’s carrier air wing to the “Block III” Super Hornet, a next-generation version of the strike fighter complete with new sensors, extended range, a more powerful computer and, yes, enhanced stealth coating.

These changes will allow the Super Hornet to fly alongside the Lockheed Martin F-35C carrier variant as the backbone of the Navy’s carrier air wing into the 2040s and beyond, says Dan Gillian, Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 program manager.

Block III Super Hornet will get enhanced stealth coating

New aircraft will begin rolling off the production line in 2020

Trump previewed the new and improved fighter during a March 14 visit to the St. Louis facility, which has been building F/A-18s, first the A-D Hornet and later the E/F Super Hornet, since 1978.

Gillian confirms that an improved low-observable (LO) coating will be one of five key characteristics of the Block III Super Hornet. The fighter is already “a very stealth airplane today”—he says, declining to elaborate—but there are new coatings engineers can apply on different surfaces of the aircraft to make it even more survivable, he says.
 

bobbymike

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https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/navy-league/2018/04/04/boeing-super-hornet-program-gets-second-life-through-future-sales-and-upgrades/?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Defense%20DNR%2004-04-18&utm_term=Editorial%20-%20Daily%20News%20Roundup

WASHINGTON — Boeing is expecting an important delivery this week: the arrival of the first Super Hornet slated to undergo a service life extension at the company’s production line in St. Louis, Missouri.

The work will kick off a decade long “service life modification” effort that will increase the lifespan of the U.S. Navy’s F/A-18E/F aircraft from 6,000 to 9,000 flight hours, but also transform them into the newest Block III configuration, said Dan Gillian, Boeing’s program manager for the Super Hornet and Growler.

The SLM effort, coupled with future Super Hornet procurement spelled out in the fiscal 2019 budget, has given the F/A-18E/F program a second life. Earlier this decade, it was thought that Super Hornet production could end as early as 2016 or 2017.

Now the situation has changed entirely.
 

fredymac

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More about Block III.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7dBkbIpn7I
 

XP67_Moonbat

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On the subject of Block III upgrades.

http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/21045/here-is-boeings-master-plan-for-the-f-a-18e-f-super-hornets-future
 

sferrin

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"The Navy did include $15 million for research and development into a Super Hornet engine upgrade in its unfunded priorities list for the 2019 fiscal year. However, this is a wishlist the service sends annually to Congress in the hopes lawmakers will allocate additional funds for various projects."

Wasn't this complete decades ago?
 

Boxman

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This was recently (28-AUG-2018) posted at The Aviationist by David Cenciotti. It's the VX-23 patch ("Super Blues Transition - 2016-17 - VX-23") commemorating the testing and modifications surrounding the Blue Angels' transition from the F/A-18A-D to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, that was on sale (since concluded) at eBay.

https://theaviationist.com/2018/08/28/vx-23-air-test-evaluation-super-blues-transition-patch-emerges-on-ebay/


The dates are a bit off on the patch, but that is explained by Cenciotti ("Curiously, the '2016-2017' text suggests the VX-23 activities were completed last year even though the testing is currently underway: after investigating this a little, we have found out that the squadron ordered the patches back in 2017, before the testing was postponed to this year."). I get the use of the Rhino (given the aircraft's nickname), the VX-23 Strike Test red lightning bolt backdrop, as well as the angle of attack lines, alpha and beta symbols, etc., representing flight test. What is a bit of riddle to me is the Rhino is riding a common 20 lb. propane tank (which is leaking gas) that is appropriately illustrated wearing the Blue Angels shield, and rolling.

What does the propane tank represent? A play on the Super Hornet's typical high drag configuration (although that wouldn't be the case as operated by the Blues)? Why is the tank leaking gas? Some might say that represents the aircrafts' smoke systems, but smoke oil wouldn't seem to relate to propane gas.

Any thoughts on the patch-ology regarding the humor and representations on the patch? :D
 

TomcatViP

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The Blues go green (ethanol/green gas - biofuels)? (you can see that the rhyno is snorting flames and looks like drunk (stars and interrogative sign)...
 

TomS

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Boxman said:
What does the propane tank represent?
"Blue Rhino" is a very common brand of propane tank in the US, and their logo includes a rhinoceros with a flame for a horn.

https://www.bluerhino.com/
 

Boxman

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TomS said:
Boxman said:
What does the propane tank represent?
"Blue Rhino" is a very common brand of propane tank in the US, and their logo includes a rhinoceros with a flame for a horn.

https://www.bluerhino.com/
Of course!!! Even worse, I have a Blue Rhino tank hooked up to my grill and didn't even give it a thought. Thanks.
 

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With all of the extra stuff they'll be adding with the Block III the upgraded engines should really be incorporated into the upgrade plan, not just as something to repeatedly spend R&D dollars on and never implement.

Still seems to me that these upgrades and the F-35C are duplicating a lot of the same capabilities. I'd rather have the Navy investing in fielding a whole new fighter in the coming decade.
 
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