Boeing, which is one of the contenders for the $10 billion medium
multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contract, will unveil a stealthier
version of the F/A-18 at the air show to be held at the Air Force
Station Yelahanka between February 9 and 13.
Boeing’s vice president and country head for defence, space and
security, Vivek Lal, said that one of the two F/A-18s which will be
performing at the bi-annual show will be configured with conformal fuel
tanks, enhanced performance engines, spherical missile laser warning,
enclosed weapons pad, next generation cockpit and internal infrared
search and tracking system.
The mocked up aircraft, which will be unveiled at the Aero India will be
the first F/A-18 to be developed as part of the ‘International Super
Hornet Roadmap’ programme which was announced by the US-based aerospace
company at last year’s Farnborough Air Show in the UK.
Labelled as the next evolution of Block II Super Hornet, the aircraft is
said to have features “which increase survivability, situational
awareness, and performance for customers”.
Lal said that if India inked the 126 MMRCA deal with Boeing, it would
also have the option of shaping its technology in future. “We are
putting up a platform which will be combat worthy for the next 30 to 40
years,” said Lal.