Top Gun’s Iconic Fighter Jet, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet Production To End In 2025 – Report

Even ‘Top Gun’ couldn’t save the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Boeing announced Thursday that it expects to stop production of the fighter jet in late 2025 after final delivery to the US Navy. The company said production of the aircraft could be extended till 2027 if India places the order. The first F/A-18 debuted in 1983 and was built by McDonnell Douglas, which merged with Boeing in 1997. More than 2,000 Hornets, Super Hornets and Growlers have been delivered to the US military and the governments of many allies, including Canada. Finland, Australia and Malaysia.

But the fate of the plane has been in doubt in recent years. The Navy had planned not to buy any Super Hornets after the fall of 2021, citing the age of the aircraft’s design. The production went on only because of one act of the Congress.

News of the plane’s curtain call comes less than a month after Boeing took final delivery of its iconic 747 jumbo jet, which has been used in passenger and cargo service for half a century.

Boeing said ending production of the F/A-18 would allow it to focus on future military aircraft, both manned and crewed, and increase production for other defense programs. The company said it plans to build three new facilities in St. Louis where the F/A-18 is assembled.

“We’re planning for our future, and building fighters is in our DNA,” said Steve Nordlund, vice president of Boeing’s Air Dominance Division. The company said it will continue to upgrade its existing fleet of F/A-18 Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers. The latter is a carrier-based electronic version of the jet.

The Super Hornet featured prominently in the 2022 film ‘Top Gun: Maverick’, with Tom Cruise reprising his role in the 1980s film about a Navy pilot. The sequel received positive reviews and was one of the highest-grossing films of the previous year.