Boeing has come to CANSEC commemorating 100 years of partnership with Canada.
In 1919 Bill Boeing flew an aircraft from Vancouver to Seattle carrying the first air mail between the US and Canada, and 10 years later the Boeing Canada company was established. Since then, Boeing has executed a large number of successful programmes that have contributed significantly to Canada's defence and aerospace industries.
Now, Boeing is hoping to open another chapter in the partnership, offering the F/A‑18 Super Hornet for Canada's Future Fighter Capability Project. The company is highlighting the range of ITBs (industrial and technological benefits) that it and team partners CAE, L3, General Electric, Raytheon and Peraton can guarantee. Boeing is also highlighting the long-term commitment that the US Navy has made to the Super Hornet, with consequent benefits in terms of acquisition and life-cycle costs. The Navy has signed up to a multi-year procurement for 110 of the latest Block III Super Hornet that runs to at least 2026, along with a Block II to III service life modernisation programme that covers 440 aircraft by 2033. The last of the Block II aircraft are being built through 2020, including those ordered by Kuwait.
In terms of what Boeing is offering for the FFCP, the Block III incorporates advanced features such as Raytheon AESA radar, modern cockpit systems based around a 10x19in touchscreen, advanced communications and networking capability and a 10,000-hour airframe life without depot-level maintenance.
The Block III also has conformal fuel tanks, which add 125 nautical miles in range or 30 minutes of time on station with no significant effects on drag or radar cross-section. The company notes that the extra endurance, in particular, would be useful for missions over Canada's far north. Boeing is quoting a competitive cost per flying hour of less than $20,000 for the Super Hornet.