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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 158-00
March 31, 2000

SUPER HORNET MILESTONE III EXIT CRITERIA MET

The Navy announced today that it had accepted a brief from the F/A-18 Program Manager certifying that all Milestone III exit criteria had been met by the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition Lee Buchanan accepted the brief thereby moving the program one step closer to a full rate production decision.

Specifically, the aircraft successfully completed Operational Evaluation with a grade of "operationally suitable, operationally effective." All low rate initial production (LRIP) 1 aircraft have been delivered meeting the empty weight threshold, and LRIP 2 production is on schedule. The F/A-18E/F has flown over 8,000 hours since development and has commenced fleet level training at Strike Fighter Squadron 122, in Lemoore, Calif.

The program now awaits an Acquisition Decision Memorandum by Buchanan with approval to proceed. Before the Super Hornet can proceed with its multi-year production contract, the secretary of Defense must satisfy the certification requirements identified in the fiscal year 2000 Defense Authorization Act.

Information on the Super Hornet can be obtained at http://www.chinfo.navy.mil/navpalib/aircraft/fa18/shornet.html

For more information, contact Navy Lt. Amy Derrick at (703) 697-5342.