Military Capabilities

US Navy finds renewed life in legacy programmes

16 February 2018

As the US Navy (USN) looks to deploy Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters and develop next-generation missiles, the service is finding ways to stretch the service lives of its existing combat jets and cruise missiles.

The USN is extending the lives of its Boeing F/A-18 A-D Hornet and F/A-18E-F Super Hornet jets – as well as buying additional F/A-18E-Fs – to address F-35C development and delivery delays.

It is also stretching the service lives and improving the performance of its Tomahawk cruise missiles.

“Until F-35C aircraft are available in the required numbers, the navy plans to mitigate the inventory challenge with service-life extension of legacy F/A-18 A-D airframes to 8,000-10,000 hours,” the USN said in budget documentation for its fiscal year 2019 (FY 2019) budget request, which was released on 12 February.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(159 of 597 words)