The US Navy has ordered 18 F/A-18 Super Hornet strike fighters from Boeing as part of the FY2018 budget execution. According to a June 8, 2018, Defense Department announcement, Naval Air Systems Command awarded an $862.2 million contract modification for FY2018 for 15 single-seat F/A-18E and three two-seat F/A-18F strike fighters in Lot 42 of the programme.
The Super Hornet orders will provide aircraft to the US Navy as it moves along the transition of its remaining F/A-18C Hornet squadrons to the Super Hornet. Strike Fighter Squadron 34 (VFA-34) ‘Blue Blasters’ was the last legacy Hornet-equipped unit to deploy and, after participation in the summer 2018 Rim-of-the-Pacific Exercise, will begin transition to the F/A-18E. Strike Fighter Squadron 131 (VFA-131) ‘Wildcats’ has already made the transition and will be followed by VFA-83 ‘Rampagers’ by mid-summer, VFA-37 ‘Ragin’ Bulls’ by the end of 2018, and VFA-34 by the summer of 2019. Rick Burgess