Boeing is awarded a delivery order in support of the conversion of eleven F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft for the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team.
According to a release from U.S. Department of Defence, the delivery order is for the retrofit documentation and kits to convert nine F/A-18E (single-seater) and two F/A-18F (twin-seater) aircraft into a Blue Angel configuration in accordance with engineering change proposal 6480.
The firm-fixed-price delivery order, worth around $17 million, was awarded by the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) located at Patuxent River, Maryland. Fiscal 2018 aircraft procurement (Navy) funds for the amount is obligated at time of award, none of which will expire at the end of the current fiscal year.
Work will be performed in St. Louis, Missouri, and is expected to be completed in December 2021.
The Blue Angels is the U.S. Navy’s flight demonstration squadron, with aviators from the Navy and Marines. The Blue Angels team was formed in 1946, making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team (under the same name) in the world, after the French Patrouille de France formed in 1931.
The Blue Angels have flown a variety of aircraft since their establishment, and started flying F/A-18 variants in 1986. Since 2010, the squadron has been flying the F/A-18 Hornet C/D and are now starting an upgrade to the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet.
The Blue Angels also use a U.S. Marine Corps Lockheed C-130T Hercules, nicknamed “Fat Albert”, for their logistics, carrying spare parts, equipment, and to carry support personnel between shows.