'The Super Hornet, With More Composite Content Than its Competitors, is In Fact Uniquely Well Positioned in India’s Path to AMCA’
Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Boeing Defense, Space & Security India, Michael Koch

Michael KochTell us a little about F/A-18 Super Hornet’s ‘Make in India’ offer.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet offers an unmatched opportunity for ‘Make in India’. Boeing is prepared to bring its global scale and supply chain, its best-in-industry precision manufacturing processes, as well as the company’s unrivaled experience designing and optimising aerospace production facilities to bear in both expanding India’s aerospace ecosystem and in serving as a bridge to the Advanced Medium Combat Aircraft (AMCA). The Super Hornet – with more composite content than its competitors – is in fact uniquely well positioned in India’s path to AMCA.

Further, Boeing’s active production line and robust supply chain allow the company to offer the most affordable platform.

The Super Hornet is a more modern fighter for tomorrow’s threats. The Super Hornet’s superior stealth, in part, is due to precision manufacturing and more advanced material content than its competitors. The Super Hornet is not only less expensive to acquire, but it also costs less per flight hour to operate than any other tactical aircraft in US forces inventory. Ease of maintenance (supportability) results in lower maintenance man-hours per flight hour. Plus, the Super Hornet does not require any scheduled Depot-Level maintenance and the engine does not require any scheduled maintenance between overhauls.

With multi-role capabilities, advanced technologies with room to grow and low acquisition and sustainment costs, the Super Hornet is the clear choice for India.

We understand the Indian Air Force (IAF) has a need for additional twin engine aircraft as it retires its Jaguars, MiG and Mirage aircraft. We likewise understand there is a need in the Indian Navy as well. We are having ongoing discussion with the IAF, Indian Navy and India’s ministry of defence (MoD) on the best way for India to meet its fighter needs while building an indigenous industrial base.

Could you please give us some details on the aircraft carrier version of the F/A-18 Super Hornet?
The F/A-18 Super Hornet was designed from day one for carrier operations and is the world’s preeminent carrier capable aircraft. It is a combat proven, supersonic, all weather multirole fighter jet with a defined US Navy flight plan to outpace threats into the 2040s. Every Super Hornet to the US Navy has been delivered on cost and on schedule.

As a twin-engine aircraft, the Super Hornet provides a margin of safety that does not exist in a single-engine platform, yet still ensures a safe single-engine carrier landing if required. A single-engine aircraft is likely lost due to engine malfunctions or loss of thrust while a twin-engine platform can lose an engine and still safely return to the nearest carrier. The Super Hornet airframe is designed to withstand thousands of carrier landings without damage and improved corrosion protection further protects the plane in harsh saltwater environments. The Super Hornet is continuously evolving to outpace the threat. Introduced in 2007, the Super Hornet Block II is the most advanced aircraft of its kind in operation today with designed-in stealth, advanced AESA radar and more highly integrated mission systems than any other aircraft.

Even more, Boeing and the US Navy have laid out and maintained a robust spiral development approach to the Super Hornet that provides updates to the aircraft’s subsystems and software every two years to outpace threats for decades to come.

The Advanced F/A-18E/F Super Hornet’s multi-mission capabilities include battle-space situational awareness, greater range and increased acceleration, improved survivability and reduced signature and room for growth.

The future insertion of conformal fuel tanks will reduce weight and drag while expanding range of the Super Hornet. As part of this development path, the enhanced GE 414 engine offers an opportunity for collaboration with Indian firms to use in the LCA and future AMCA.

When do you expect to deliver the Chinook and Apache helicopters for the IAF?
The CH-47 Chinook and AH-64 Apache programmes are on track. Boeing will start deliveries of both the platforms to India in 2019.

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