Boeing has delivered the first two F/A-18 Block III Super Hornets jets to the US Navy for flight testing.
The delivered jets comprise a single-seat E model and a two-seat F model.
US Navy pilots will use the new aircraft to familiarise themselves with the advanced cockpit system’s new 10-inch-by-19-inch touchscreen display.
They will also test the capabilities of the enhanced network system.
Additionally, the Block III configuration features capability upgrades include longer range, reduced radar signature, and an enhanced communication system.
The fighter’s life also will be extended from 6,000 hours to 10,000 hours.
Following the successful completion of tests, the maiden operational Block III jet will be delivered to the navy next year.
Boeing F/A-18 & EA-18G programmes vice-president Steve Wade said: “The aircraft will be used for carrier suitability and integration testing of all Block III mission system components.
“These test jets will ensure crews have plenty of time to become comfortable with the new, next-generation systems before receiving operational aircraft.”
Last year, Boeing was awarded a contract by the US Navy for 78 Block III Super Hornets.
The aircraft entered the flight test and evaluation phase at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.
The company is expected to deliver 11 aircraft for the navy demonstration squadron this year.
The Super Hornet jet is to become the fourth Boeing platform for the flight demonstration team.