The US Navy is poised to start a six-month, 800 flight operational evaluation (Opeval) of the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet following the successful conclusion of engineering management and development on 30 April.

US Navy air test and evaluation squadron VX-9 will conduct Opeval with seven aircraft stationed at China Lake in California, starting this month.

The F/A-18E/F enters Opeval meeting, or exceeding, all key performance parameters, but it is expected that the testers will raise deficiency issues as they are given free range to assess and criticise the aircraft in all mission areas. Boeing has delivered five initial low-rate production aircraft to China Lake, four of them two-seat F/A-18Fs.

Source: Flight International