The US Navy has received the first of 58 EA-18G Growler aircraft from Boeing at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, US, ahead of schedule.
The delivery follows Multi-Year Procurement (MYP) III contract awarded to Boeing on 28 September 2010 for the delivery of 124 F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft.
The delivery under the contract is scheduled to run through 2013, with the Navy placing additional orders for 24 F/A-18E/F.
Under the terms of the MYP III contract, the US Navy has options to procure up to a total of 194 F/A-18E/F and EA-18G aircraft.
Boeing F/A-18 and EA-18 Programs vice president Mike Gibbons said the programme continues to successfully draw on efficiencies from across Boeing to reduce cost, while increasing capabilities.
"Today's new Super Hornets provide unequaled air dominance and precision strike capability for the U.S. Navy carrier fleet. At the same time, the EA-18G continues to expand its dominance as the world's premier airborne electronic attack aircraft, as demonstrated by its recent successes supporting operations in Libya," Gibbons added.
"The Super Hornet and Growler give the U.S. Navy a significant capability for a broad spectrum of anti-access, area-denial missions."
The EA-18G Growler, a derivative of the combat-proven two-seat F/A-18 Hornet, the US Navy's maritime strike aircraft, is an airborne electronic attack (AEA) aircraft which operates from either an aircraft carrier or from land-bases.
The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a multirole aircraft, capable of performing every mission in the tactical spectrum, including day / night strike with precision-guided weapons, suppressing enemy air defences and reconnaissance missions.
The Navy was able to save $1.7bn by procuring aircraft through the first two multi-year contracts, while the MYP III contract is forecasted to generate more than $605m in savings which will result in total savings of over $2.3bn across the three F/A-18E/F and EA-18G contracts.
Image: Boeing delivers F/A-18E/F Super Hornet multirole aircraft to US Navy. Photo: Boeing