COVID-19 Affecting Kuwait’s Super Hornet order
The delivery of 28 Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet combat aircraft to Kuwait has been delayed because of the continuing Covid-19 health problem, according to a company official on 14 January. The 22 single-seat F/A-18Es and six twin-seat F/A-18Fs purchased in a government-to-government agreement in June 2018 will be delivered to the US Navy (USN) later in 2021, rather than by the end of January as originally planned.
“COVID-19 has undoubtedly influenced our company. We are now working with the client on contract adjustments to reflect our updated timeframe, and we expect to deliver the last Kuwait F/A-18 Super Hornet to the US Navy this summer ‘third quarter’,” Boeing said in a statement to the media. The US Navy has not specified a timetable for handing over the jets to the Kuwaiti Air Force.
The USD2.7 billion agreement for Kuwait (which includes radar warning receivers and armaments) includes Super Hornets constructed mostly to the US Navy’s newest Block 3 specification (with some legacy Block 2 elements reportedly retained). The Block 3 incorporates elements of Boeing’s previously lauded International Roadmap and Advanced Super Hornet, such as upgrades to the Raytheon AN/APG-79 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar; an Elbit Systems large area display (LAD) ‘glass’ cockpit, and next-generation avionics; an infrared search and track (IRST); ‘shoulder-mounted conformal fuel tanks (CFTs); and Integrated Defensive Electro In addition to the capabilities increases, the Block 3 airframe’s endurance has been increased from 6,000 to 9,000 hours.