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Boeing will no longer be building F/A-18 fighters by 2025-end

US Navy file photo of an F/A-18E Super Hornet on board aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman

US aerospace giant Boeing revealed it expects to complete new-build production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter aircraft in late 2025 following delivery of the final US Navy fighters.

This will mark the end of a 40-year-old story for Boeing and the fourth-generation fighter.

Boeing noted that production could be extended to 2027 if the Super Hornet is selected by an international customer.

“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 US Navy and air forces around the world for nearly 40 years.”

With this production decision, Boeing expects to redirect resources to future military aircraft programs. To support work on the next generation of advanced crewed and uncrewed aircraft, Boeing plans to build three new facilities in St. Louis.

These facilities, as well as the new Advanced Composite Fabrication Center in Arizona, and the new MQ-25 production facility at MidAmerica St. Louis Airport, represent more than a $1 billion investment.

Boeing says it has invested $700 million into St. Louis infrastructure upgrades during the past decade, enabling the introduction of new design and build techniques streamlining processes and improving first-time quality.

The decision will also allow the company to ramp up production of critical new defense programs, including increasing 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. Production of new F-15EX Eagle IIs and 777X wing components will also continue.

Boeing added it will continue to develop capabilities and upgrades for the global F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleet. 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 electronic attack capability as part of ongoing Growler modifications.

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 US Navy, Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain and Switzerland.