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Boeing receives contract for U.S., Australian F/A-18 environmental systems

By Stephen Carlson
Boeing receives contract for U.S., Australian F/A-18 environmental systems
Boeing will provide upgrades to environmental systems on F/A-18E/F and E/A-18G aircraft for the U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy. U.S. Navy photo

July 5 (UPI) -- Boeing has received an $8 million contract for engineering support and retrofitting for software improvements to environmental control systems of U.S. Navy and Royal Australian Navy F/A-18 aircraft.

The contract will provide for Environmental Control System Controller Software Improvements to the ECSs of F/A-18E/F fighter and E/A-18G electronic warfare aircraft, the Department of Defense announced on Monday.

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Work will be conducted in Windsor Locks, Conn., El Segundo, Calif., and St. Louis, Mo. The retrofitting is expected to be completed by March 2020. Fiscal 2017 Navy aircraft procurement and foreign military sales funds of $8 million are being obligated upon award.

The F/A-18 series of fighter planes has had a history of reported incidents with oxygen and environmental control systems, leading to hypoxia-like symptoms and other debilitating conditions that can be dangerous in flight.

Similar problems with T-46 training aircraft and F-35 Lightning II fighters, as well as the F/A-18, under testing have led to multiple recent groundings of aircraft. The U.S. Navy is conducting comprehensive reviews of the problem.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet is the primary carrier and land-based multi-role fighter of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. It has been widely exported and is expected to serve for decades to come alongside the F-35. The E/A-18G Growler is an electronic warfare jamming, anti-radar variant of the series.

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