The first production trailing edge flaps for the
F/A-18E/F Super Hornet were delivered today in a ceremony at Aerospace Technologies of Australia (ASTA), a subsidiary of Boeing Australia Limited.
ASTA is the first company outside of North America to be chosen as a supplier for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the next-generation strike fighter currently in production for the U.S. Navy. ASTA presented the first set of trailing edge flaps to U.S. Navy Capt. Al Clark and Mike Tkach, Boeing vice president of F/A-18 international programs. Also attending the ceremony was Australian Minister for Defence Industry, Science and Personnel, Bronwyn Bishop. The ceremony was held at ASTA's manufacturing plant in Fishermen's Bend, Port Melbourne.
The completed flaps will be delivered to the Super Hornet assembly line in St. Louis, Missouri.
"ASTA has been and continues to be one of our very best suppliers," said Tkach. "Thanks to a tremendous team effort, ASTA has met all of its obligations right on schedule." ASTA has been the supplier of trailing edge flaps for F/A-18C/D Hornets since 1993. Production of the flaps at ASTA involves the use of new manufacturing methods including advanced composites and high-speed machining, which were not used in the manufacture of flaps for the earlier Hornets.
The Super Hornet is the newest addition to the combat-proven family of F/A-18 Hornets. Both the single-seat E and two-seat F models offer longer range, greater endurance, more payload-carrying ability, more powerful engines, increased carrier bringback capability, enhanced survivability and the growth potential to incorporate future systems and technologies to meet emerging threats. Although it is 25 percent larger than the Hornet, the Super Hornet has 42 percent fewer parts.
The Boeing Company leads a nationwide industry team that builds the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Boeing builds the forward fuselage and wings, and conducts final assembly. Northrop Grumman Corp. is the principal airframe subcontractor, supplying the center and aft fuselage, as well as a number of systems. General Electric Co. produces the F414 engines and Raytheon provides the APG-73 radar.