Boeing sets F/A-18 production completion date as defense business pivots to future work
Boeing expects to complete new-build production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft in late 2025 following delivery of the final U.S. Navy fighters. Production could be extended to 2027 if the Super Hornet is selected by the Indian Navy for its future fighter.
Since the F/A-18 debuted in 1983, Boeing has delivered more than 2,000 Hornets, Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers to customers around the world including the U.S. Navy, Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.
Moving forward, this decision allows Boeing to do several things. First, Boeing will be able to redirect resources to future military aircraft programs, which means supporting work on the next generation of advanced crewed and un-crewed aircraft. They will also be able to ramp up production of critical new defense programs. This will allow Boeing St. Louis to increase production of the world’s first all-digital training system, the T-7A Red Hawk, and the world’s first carrier-deployed autonomous refueling aircraft, the MQ-25 Stingray, along with ongoing production of new F-15EX Eagle IIs and 777X wing components. Finally, Boeing will focus on modernization and upgrade efforts by continuing to develop advanced capabilities and upgrades for the global F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleet. In addition, throughout the next decade, all Block II Super Hornets in Service Life Modification will receive the Block III capability suite. Boeing will also continue to add advanced electronic attack capability as part of ongoing Growler modifications.
“We are planning for our future, and building fighter aircraft is in our DNA,” said Steve Nordlund, Boeing Air Dominance vice president and St. Louis site leader. “As we invest in and develop the next era of capability, we are applying the same innovation and expertise that made the F/A-18 a workhorse for the U.S. Navy and air forces around the world for nearly 40 years.”
To meet demand for defense products and services, Boeing plans to continue hiring year over year for the next five at its St. Louis site. More than 900 people were hired in the region last year.