Navy F/A-18C Hornet Makes Final Active-Duty Flight

October 3, 2019 – The last Navy F/A-18C Hornet, aircraft number 300, made its official final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana, Oct. 2. Assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at Cecil Field, Florida, aircraft number 300 completed its first Navy acceptance check flight Oct. 14, 1988. Lt. Andrew Jalali, who piloted the Hornet for its final active-duty flight at Naval Air Station Oceana, was also born in 1988. “Today marked the final United States Navy F/A-18C Operational Hornet flight,” said the Commodore, Command Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic,…

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NAVAIR Delivers First Redesigned MH-60s Gunner Seats to Fleet

September 26, 2019 – The Aircrew Systems Program Office delivered, installed and demonstrated the first two redesigned MH-60S Seahawk gunner seats on Sept. 24 and 25 to Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Pacific (HSCWP) at Naval Air Station North Island. This delivery is the culmination of innovative, strategic planning across multiple organizations working together to complete the mission with urgency. “From the Air Boss and NAVAIR’s advocacy, the Office of Chief of Naval Operations Air Warfare Division rapid funding, program office customer service, HSCWP and Helicopter Sea Combat Wing Atlantic (HSCWA)…

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Naval Aviation Achieves SECDEF Readiness Target

September 24, 2019 – Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) announced Sept. 24 that Naval Aviation has achieved its Secretary of Defense-mandated readiness target of an 80 percent mission-capable (MC) rate for both its operational F/A-18 E/F “Super Hornet” and EA-18G “Growler” fleets. After a year of reforms across Navy squadrons, maintenance and supply depots and other key readiness-enabling commands, Super Hornet and Growler readiness each stand above 80 percent of Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory (PMAI), at 343 and 95 aircraft, respectively. Last year, with the Navy’s MC rate hovering near…

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US Navy TH-57 Replacement Contender’s TH-119 Receives IFR Certification

July, 1919 – Leonardo announced today that its TH-119 helicopter received IFR supplemental type certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The TH-119 is the only single engine helicopter in decades to meet current IFR requirements, allowing pilots to operate the aircraft safely in low visibility and challenging weather conditions, thanks to advanced avionics by Genesys Aerosystems and redundant helicopter flight systems. Based on the successful AW119, the TH-119 is Leonardo’s bid to replace the U.S. Navy’s fleet of aging TH-57 training helicopters. IFR certification is a core requirement for…

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Sikorsky Receives Contract to Build 12 CH-53K Heavy Lift Helicopters

May 17, 2019 – Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company will build 12 production CH-53K King Stallion helicopters under a new $1.13 billion contract from the U.S. Navy. These advanced helicopters are part of the 200 program of record aircraft for the U.S. Marine Corps. Under the terms of the contract, known as Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) Lot 2 and 3, Sikorsky will begin deliveries of 12 CH-53K helicopters in 2022, and also provide spares and logistical support. Sikorsky remains committed to continuing to reduce costs over the life of…

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Minor Injuries Reported After T-45 Training Jet Crash at NAS Kingsville

May 10, 2019 – A Navy T-45C Goshawk aircraft crashed at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, at 2:38 p.m. Friday, May 10. The two pilots, an instructor and a student, suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local medical treatment facility for care. The pilots safely ejected from the aircraft just before it crashed just short of the runway inside the airfield perimeter fence. Emergency services immediately responded to the crash site. The incident is under investigation.

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VP-47 Attends LIMA Exhibition

March 30, 2019 – The “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 participated in the 2019 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition held in Langkawi, Malaysia. Approximately 1,400 U.S. Navy and Air Force personnel are participating in LIMA19. U.S. Navy aircraft on display include a P-8A Poseidon, EA-18G Growler, and MH-60R Seahawk. The 7th Fleet flagship, USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19), and destroyer, USS Preble (DDG 88), participated in the maritime portion of the exhibition. “This detachment will be key in fostering relationships that will be critical in achieving…

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Boeing Receives U.S. Navy Multiyear Contract for F/A-18 Production

March 20, 2019 – With a three-year contract award for 78 F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets, Boeing [NYSE: BA] will play a vital role in the U.S. Navy’s fleet modernization efforts. The Block III configuration adds capability upgrades that include enhanced network capability, longer range, reduced radar signature, an advanced cockpit system and an enhanced communication system. Boeing will begin converting existing Block II Super Hornets to Block III early in the next decade. The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours. This new multi-year…

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F-35C Achieves Initial Operational Capability

February 28, 2019 – The Commander, Naval Air Forces and the U.S. Marine Corps Deputy Commandant for Aviation jointly announced that the aircraft carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-35C Lightning II, met all requirements and achieved Initial Operational Capability (IOC). The Feb. 28 announcement comes shortly after the Department of the Navy’s first F-35C squadron, Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147, completed aircraft carrier qualifications aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and received Safe-For-Flight Operations Certification. In order to declare IOC, the first operational squadron must be properly…

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Raytheon Wins Contract for P-8A APY-10 Radar Repair

February 1, 2019 – Raytheon Company was awarded the following contract as announced by the Department of Defense on January 9, 2019: Raytheon Co., McKinney, Texas, was awarded $7,124,695 for firm-fixed-price delivery order N00383-19-F-G000 under previously awarded basic ordering agreement N00383-14-G-005D for the repair of the APY-10 radar system used in support of the P-8A aircraft. Naval Supply Systems Command Weapon Systems Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is the contracting activity.

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Blue Angels Soar Through Aviation Maintenance Inspection

February 2, 2019 – The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, passed their 2019 Aviation Maintenance Inspection (AMI) conducted Jan. 29 – Feb. 1. The AMI is an inspection conducted every two years for each squadron in the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps to evaluate the effectiveness of the squadron’s maintenance program practices and adherence to Naval Aviation Maintenance Program standards. Commander, Naval Air Forces Aviation Maintenance Management Team 1 evaluated the Blue Angels on a total of 37 programs and found no critical discrepancies. After four days of…

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Blue Blasters Hornet Sundown Ceremony Marks the End of an Era

February 2, 2019 – Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34 hosted a sundown ceremony and fly-over for the legacy F/A-18C Hornet aircraft at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va., Feb. 1. Active duty service members, aviation leadership, local media and visitors were in attendance to commemorate the aircraft’s 35 years of active service in the fleet. “Today our VFA-34 family and the operational farewells an old friend,” said Cmdr. William Mathis, commanding officer of VFA-34. “Born more than 40 years ago, the Hornet entered operational service for the U.S.…

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VP-47 Conducts Joint Maritime Patrol Operations with JMSDF

January 31, 2019 – The “Golden Swordsmen” of Patrol Squadron (VP) 47 participated with Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force’s (JMSDF) Fleet Air Wing (FAW) 5 in a coordinated maritime patrol operational procedures (CMPOP) exercise, Jan. 29. “This joint training was an exciting opportunity for VP-47 to work with the JMSDF to reinforce and to continue to build relations with our host nation’s military,” said Lt. Zach Alcairo, VP-47 Combat Aircrew (CAC) 9 mission commander. The exercise further demonstrates military-to-military coordination, while enhancing relations between the U.S. Navy and the JMSDF’s maritime…

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Raytheon to Retrofit F/A-18E/F and EA-18G Aircraft

January 30, 2019 – Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) was awarded the following contract as announced by the Department of Defense on January 2, 2019. Raytheon Co., El Segundo, California, was awarded $81,224,627 for modification P00007 to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive-firm-target contract (N00019-17-C-0042). This modification provides for the procurement of 228 configuration components required for completion of Configuration D Retrofit Component engineering change proposals for the F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft for the Navy and the government of Australia. The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting activity.

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Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Pilot Makes Emergency Landing at NAF El Centro

January 22, 2019 – A pilot attached to the U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, made an emergency landing at Naval Air Facility El Centro, California, Jan. 22, with no injuries. The mishap occurred when the F/A-18 Hornet’s main landing gear did not extend on approach to the airfield following a training flight. The pilot landed the aircraft with no injury to himself or ground personnel, and at no time were any other personnel or spectators in danger. The cause of the mishap is under investigation. The Blue…

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