US Navy orders 17 additional F/A-18E/F Super Hornets

by Zach Rosenberg

The first F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block III for the US Navy made its maiden flight on 4 June 2020. The latest order will keep the Super Hornet production line open until 2027. (Boeing)

The US Navy (USN) has placed a USD1.1 billion order for 17 new Boeing F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornets, to procure five single-seat E models and 12 two-seat F models. Delivery is scheduled to begin in late 2026 and continue through early 2027.

The agreement includes “Phase One of the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G technical data package including the operation, maintenance, installation, and training data”, according to the 19 March contract award notice. Securing data rights to the aircraft is intended to allow the USN to sustain them with its own personnel and facilities rather than rely on Boeing or subcontractors.

Both the USN and US Air Force have in recent years placed high priority on securing data rights, arguing that service personnel could maintain the aircraft for less money than contractors, and that such rights are necessary to effect future modifications that might involve equipment from third parties.


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Japan Coast Guard orders three more Airbus H225 helicopters

by Ridzwan Rahmat

A Japan Coast Guard H225 helicopter. The service has ordered three more airframes of the type. (Airbus Helicopters)

Japan's coastguard service has ordered three more Airbus H225 twin-engine helicopters.

This latest order brings the Japan Coast Guard's (JCG's) total H225 fleet to 18, including airframes that were acquired more than a decade ago, an Airbus spokesperson confirmed to Janes on 16 April.

Most recently, the JCG took delivery of three H225s in December 2023 and one in February 2024.

“The new helicopters will support territorial coastal activities, maritime law enforcement, as well as disaster relief missions in the country,” reads a statement issued by Airbus on 11 April to announce the latest JCG order.

“The Japan Coast Guard has been an active operator of the Super Puma family helicopters for three decades,” said Jean-Luc Alfonsi, managing director of Airbus Helicopters in Japan, in the media statement.

“We believe the H225 is the perfect choice for JCG's critical missions for law enforcement, as well as coastal and island protection, given its versatility in all weather conditions,” Alfonsi added.


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Australia awards contract for P-8A upgrades

by Akhil Kadidal

The Boeing P-8A is an important platform for Australia. The RAAF uses the aircraft for widespread maritime surveillance activities and for long-range submarine tracking. This photograph shows an RAAF P-8A that was deployed at Roland Garros Airport, Reunion Island, in March 2024. (Commonwealth of Australia)

Boeing has been awarded a AUD139.5 million (USD90.1 million) contract to upgrade the Royal Australian Air Force's (RAAF's) P-8A Poseidon fleet.

The contract, announced on 15 April, will deliver Increment 3 Block 2 software, systems, and sensor upgrades to the RAAF's P-8A fleet, improving their anti-submarine warfare (ASW), maritime strike, and intelligence-collection capabilities, according to Boeing.

The upgrade programme will commence from September 2026, the company said. The RAAF currently operates 12 P-8As, out of a total of 14 ordered, according to Janes inventory data.

“The first two aircraft to undergo the Increment 3 modification will be upgraded in Jacksonville, Florida,” Boeing said, adding that the remainder will be upgraded by Boeing Defence Australia at RAAF Base Edinburgh.

Two new P-8As (the balance of the order of 14) are scheduled to be handed over to the RAAF in 2024 and 2025, according to Boeing. Janes


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UDT 2024: IAI/Aerotor unveil APUS 25 long-range endurance quadcopter

by Kate Tringham

The APUS 25 prototype on display at UDT 2024. (Janes/Kate Tringham)

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Aerotor Unmanned Systems have joined forces to develop a novel unmanned quadcopter designed for long-range endurance missions.

The new platform, named APUS 25, was showcased for the first time at the Undersea Defence Technology (UDT) 2024 conference and exhibition, which was held in London from 8 to 10 April.

Speaking to Janes at UDT 2024, an IAI spokesperson said the vehicle incorporates new technology developed by Aerotor that promises greater flight endurance, payload carrying capacity, and manoeuvrability than comparable unmanned quadcopters on the market.

Existing multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) typically have electric motors for each rotor that enable them to independently change their revolutions per minute (RPMs) for manoeuvres.

The Apus concept developed by Aerotor, however, introduces a new steering method based on a central heavy fuel internal combustion engine that powers the four blades working at a fixed RPM with a variable pitch rotor system.


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https://www.janes.com/defence-news/air-platforms/latest/us-navy-orders-17-additional-fa-18ef-super-hornets

The US Navy (USN) has placed a USD1.1 billion order for 17 new Boeing F/A-18E/F Block III Super Horn...

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