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Boeing awarded Super Hornet production contract for Kuwait

03 April 2018

Boeing has received a USD1.2 billion contract related to the production and delivery of 28 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft for Kuwait.

Kuwait is to join Australia as a Super Hornet (pictured) export customer with an initial contract for the production of 28 aircraft. The Gulf nation has been approved to buy up to 40 such aircraft by the US government. (Commonwealth of Australia)Kuwait is to join Australia as a Super Hornet (pictured) export customer with an initial contract for the production of 28 aircraft. The Gulf nation has been approved to buy up to 40 such aircraft by the US government. (Commonwealth of Australia)

Announced on 30 March, the not-to-exceed undefinitised contract covers long-lead non-recurring engineering required to develop a baseline configuration for the production and delivery of 22 single-seat F/A-18Es and six twin-seat F/A-18Fs. In addition, the contract provides for long-lead radar warning receivers and weapons.

Of the USD1.165 billion earmarked for this effort, USD275.8 million has so far been committed. Work on this contract is expected to be completed in September 2022.

In November 2016 the US State Department approved the sale of up to 40 Super Hornets for Kuwait, valued at USD10.1 billion (including related equipment and support). These would initially augment the Kuwaiti Air Force’s current 39 Boeing F/A-18C/D Hornets and the 28 yet-to-be delivered Eurofighter Typhoons, before eventually replacing the legacy Hornets.

While no configuration for the planned 32 F/A-18E and eight F/A-18F Super Hornets has been revealed, the expected early-2020s timeline for delivery mean that they are likely be built to the US Navy’s (USN’s) latest Block 3 standard. Boeing has previously revealed to Jane’s and other defence media that it expects to begin work on retrofitting the USN’s existing Super Hornet Block 2 fleet to Block 3 in fiscal year (FY) 2019, with all Super Hornets built after this date to be made to the same standard. Early contracts related to the upgrade have already been awarded.

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