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F/A-18 Foreign Military Sales (FMS)

Royal Australian Air Force
Canadian Forces
Finnish Air Force
Kuwait Air Force
Royal Malaysian Air Force
Spanish Air Force
Swiss Air Force
Pending Competitions
No Joy
Indian Air Force
Brazilian Air Force
Boeing remained interested in pursuing additional F-18E/F Super Hornet fighter sales in the international market. The potential for additional U.S. Navy F/A-18E/F purchases could facilitate Boeing’s plan and also help reduce future Navy procurement costs. According to recent media reports, Navy officials are interested in procuring an additional 24-36 F/A-18E/Fs in order to have enough aircraft to meet mission requirements until Navy F-35 deliveries occur (the Navy’s plans include procurement of 680 F-35C carrier-based aircraft).

In late 2015 the US Navy was looking for a further 24 to 36 Super Hornets, with acquisitions taking place in FY2017 and FY2018. This would require an extension to Boeing's St Louis production line's planned closure in 2017. The company had previously stated that it intended to keep this line open even if orders from the Navy were slow, citing potential international orders including an expected order for 28 jets from Kuwait.

As of early 2015 potential F-18 Super Hornet buyers included Denmark – which was expected to make a decision the summer of 2015 on its F-16 replacement program [but by then the whole effort had a bad case of the slows]. Kuwait already operated earlier model F-18s. Both countries were reportedly interested in purchasing of 24 to 36 aircraft. Belgium and the United Arab Emirates conducted fighter competitions and Canada (another F-18 owner) continues to debate F-35 acquisition. All three of these countries were potential F/A-18E/F buyers. Additional U.S and/or foreign customers near-term purchases would keep the production line “warm”, enhancing Boeing’s ability to enter into future international fighter competitions.

But on 22 September 2015 Kuwait became the newest member of the Eurofighter Typhoon community, signing an MoU for 28 of the fighters, worth up to €8bn. Kuwait signed an agreement with Eurofighter partner Italy (Finmeccania SpA, through its subsidiary Alenia Aermacchi), to buy 28 Eurofighter Typhoons.

Australia, which has signed on the F-35 program, had itself bought two-dozen Super Hornets as a stop-gap measure. In 2017 it announced that it planned to sell some of its F/A-18s as the F-35’s come online. In light of Canada’s threat in retaliation to Boeing that it might not buy the 18 Boeing Super Hornets, came news that Canadian officials had been sent to Australia to talk about buying their used Hornets. Officials say it would be a far cheaper option than buying the new Super Hornets as the Australian F/A-18 is very similar to Canada’s current Cf-18’s. Kuwait is also selling off F-18 Hornets as they are replaced by the Super Hornet, and other countries as well have used fighters on the market as they pick up F-35’s.

Canada was originally seeking to replace its fighter fleet with the F-35’s starting this year because the Hornet programme was phased out meaning parts could become scarce. With news the U.S Navy, may be extending its fleet of F/A18’s up to 2025, that means parts would not be so difficult and expensive to come by, meaning that Canada also could extend the life of its CF-18’s. Various reports indicated Canada was looking at Australian Hornets while others say Super Hornets- a somewhat different plane. Australian Hornets would seem to be the likely subject given their similarity to the CF18 A/B’s)

The U.S. Navy is committed to providing full life cycle logistics and engineering support to all weapon systems procured through foreign military sales (FMS). To ensure that post-production logistics and engineering support would be available for out-of-production F/A-18 FMS customers, the F/A-18 in-service support (ISS) program was established. The ISS program was activated in 1991 to provide out-of-production F/A-18 FMS customers access to U.S. Navy and commercial resources. Initially designed to provide a means for obtaining commercial support, the ISS program has become an efficient forum that enables FMS customers to address their problems with the U.S. Navy and the prime contractor, The Boeing Company, on a day-to-day basis. The ISS program currently provides post-production support to all F/A-18 A/B/C/D model aircraft. The ISS team is made up of participants from the U.S. Navy, the Canadian Forces, the Royal Australian Air Force, the Spanish Air Force, the Kuwait Air Force, the Swiss Air Force, the Royal Malaysian Air Force, and the Finnish Air Force.

Over the first decade of its existence, the F/A-18 ISS program evolved into much more than a contract vehicle for FMS customers to obtain information from the prime contractor. As a result of a developing partnership between all F/A-18 users, the ISS program emerged into a highly productive, cost effective avenue for FMS customers to open dialogue and solve technical problems; to air and resolve grievances involving the FMS system; and to contribute individual expertise in support of the F/A-18 aircraft. The F/A-18 ISS program is organized and chartered under the authority of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), under the management and administration of the AIR-3.0 competency. The ISS program was created to operate incooperation with the U.S. Navy, and works hand-in-hand with the integrated product teams (IPTs) of the Program Executive Office, Tactical Aircraft Programs (PMA265).

In the initial acquisition phase of an FMS program, the U.S. Navy logistics community concentrates on provisioning and laying-in a baseline of integrated logistics support (ILS) tosupport the flying hour program and maintenance philosophy outlined in the Letter of Offer and Acceptance (LOA). Generally, the FMS customer is offered the capability and technical documentation to fully operate and maintain the F/A-18 at the organizational, intermediate, and selected depot levels of maintenance. A country specific ILS package is prepared for each aircraft acquisition program. The tailoring of an FMS country’s ILS package is an integral part of the initial production contract. As the production of the first aircraft is completed and delivered, the FMS aircraft program begins to enter the in-service support phase of its life cycle.

During the in-service support phase, the focus of aircraft support generally converts to more routine ILS issues. Since the U.S. Navy is committed to keeping all FMS aircraft supportable throughout their projected life cycle, the F/A-18 community established additional means to keep the fleet modern and operationally viable, while continuing to develop ways to reduce maintenance costs and overcome the normal obsolescence of components and subsystems. That effort is known as the F/A-18 sustaining logistics and engineering (SL/E) program. The F/A-18 ISS program has become the method which enables the F/A-18 FMS communities to share in andobtain SL/E, and to provide FMS customers with access to the U.S. Navy and the prime contractor for long term support to the F/A-18 weapon system.

The purpose of aircraft ISS programs is to improve or enhance an aircraft weapon systemthrough the betterment of aircraft maintainability, reliability, and serviceability. In addition, aircraft program managers must continuously provide solutions to a variety of aircraft technical issues caused by routine operations and maturing aircraft. ISS activity often culminates in the development of an engineering change proposal (ECP). The integration of ECPs ensures that the aircraft custodian remains up-to-date throughout its operational life cycle. The ISS activities that provide for the continuing development of engineering and logistics solutions throughout the aircraft life cycle are essential to the operational viability the overall F/A-18 fleet.

Improving aircraft supportability and resolving component issues are prime products of the F/A-18 ISS program. Routine ISS activity is intended to make the aircraft less complicated to maintain, more reliable, and in general, easier to service and support. The F/A-18 ISS program also provides a method to develop solutions to problems which occur during the normal life cycle of any highly technical system. Thus, the ISS program provides enhancements to the supportability of the F/A-18 through the development of components created through improved technology, or as solutions to component/parts breakage or obsolescence. The F/A-18 ISS program brings together a variety of post-production support activities pertaining to all F/A-18 users. The ISS program is fundamental to providing support to the F/A-18 aircraft and generates the majority of SL/E activity needed to support the F/A-18 fleet worldwide.

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Page last modified: 23-12-2018 10:52:14 ZULU