DoD approves initial Super Hornet production

Washington, D.C., Mar. 28 (NWSA) – The Department of Defense approved the low-rate initial production (LRIP) of the Navy’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter Mar. 26, giving the Navy the green light to proceed with the fighter.

Plans call for the purchase of 62 Super Hornets over the next three years. The Navy has a requirement for 1,000 aircraft over the duration of the procurement program.

“This is good news and the right answer for our Navy,” said Secretary of the Navy John H. Dalton in a speech Wednesday evening at the Navy League Sea-Air-Space symposium. “It is an important milestone in our efforts to get the E and F to the fleet.”

The Super Hornet program is a success story: the planes are under weight, under cost, and on time. As Chief of Naval Operations Jay Johnson said, “It is the right plane at the right time to lead Naval Aviation into the 21st century.”

The decision to go forward with the LRIP avoids program disruption and possible non-programmed costs that might result from delays or work stoppage.

The F/A-18E/F completed its first carrier launches and landings on board USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) in mid-January. The first Super Hornets are expected to reach the fleet in FY2000.