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Air Platforms

US Navy contracts Boeing to begin conformal fuel tank work for Super Hornet Block 3

14 February 2018

Boeing has been contracted to design, develop, test, and integrate conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) for the US Navy’s (USN’s) fleet of F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft.

Seen here in its International Roadmap guise from 2011, this Super Hornet is sporting the two shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks that the US Navy is to adopt under its Block 3 upgrade programme. (IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings)Seen here in its International Roadmap guise from 2011, this Super Hornet is sporting the two shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks that the US Navy is to adopt under its Block 3 upgrade programme. (IHS Markit/Gareth Jennings)

The contract, announced by the Department of Defense (DoD) on 14 February, is valued at USD219.6 million and will run through to July 2022.

Boeing first touted ‘shoulder-mounted’ CFTs as one of the features of its Super Hornet International Roadmap in 2011 and of its Advanced Super Hornet concept in 2013. These CFTs have now been rolled into the USN’s Super Hornet Block 3 upgrade, which should begin entering service in the early 2020s.

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