The Swiss Air Force is to replace a wing on its Boeing F/A-18 Hornet combat aircraft after it discovered a disbond in an adhesive joint during regular inspection.
The joint between the wing and the fuselage of one F/A-18 aircraft was found to have become detached, according to the Federal Department of Defence, Civil Protection, and Sport (DDPS).
Further investigations have shown that a repair is not possible and the wing must be replaced within the next few months.
The replacement of the wing will be carried out at RUAG Aviation in Emmen.
Until the wing is replaced, the faulty aircraft will remain operational with certain restrictions.
The DDPS added that problems associated with aircraft structural fatigue such as disbond in adhesive and cracks are not uncommon in both civil and military aviation.
The Swiss Air Force’s F/A-18 Hornet fleet is in the second half of its in-service period and there is an increasing need for structural maintenance work, the DDPS said in a statement.
Preventive modifications are developed in order to maximise the cost-efficiency of aircraft maintenance and ensure both fleet availability and flight safety.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all weather multirole fighter jet that is capable of landing and taking off from an aircraft carrier.
Boeing offers a suite of upgrades to the aircraft, including conformal fuel tanks, an enclosed weapons pod, an enhanced engine and a reduced radar signature.