The U.S. Navy received delivery of the fourth Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet carrier-based multirole fighter to undergo Service Life Modification (SLM) earlier this month â€“ and the first completed at The Boeing Company’s line in San Antonio, Texas. The three previous jets underwent the series of modifications in St. Louis, Missouri, returning to the fleet fully mission capable, with flight hours extended. The U.S. Navy expects delivery of the next completed jet out of St. Louis later this month.
“With two lines now conducting SLM, the Navy will be able to have more updated Super Hornets in the inventory, further bolstering readiness,” said F/A-18 & EA-18G Program Manager Capt. Jason Denney.
“The SLM lines are the Navy’s key enabler to minimizing strike fighter shortfalls and will position the Navy to extend the life of the EA-18G Growler as well,” said Ann Wood, the deputy program manager for F/A-18E/F.
Between the two locations, there have been 25 aircraft inducted so far and continual efforts to apply lessons learned along the way, reducing costs and increasing efficiency, explained the Navy’s SLM Lead, Sarah Banagan. SLM efforts are expected to continue for several years, with inductions increasing over time. In the future, the San Antonio line will handle a higher portion of the jets slated for SLM. The latest modified Super Hornet has been delivered to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122 at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.