Jul 16, 2014

F/A-18 fighter line continuing through 2017

Boeing said on Sunday it was optimistic it could maintain production of its F/A-18 and EA-18G fighter jets through the end of 2017 - a year longer than expected - if Congress approved additional orders of a dozen more planes.
But the Pentagon's chief weapons buyer, Frank Kendall, told reporters that slowing production to extend the line was likely to increase costs at a time when budgets were already tight.
President and chief executive of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said the company was in discussions with the U.S. Navy about revamping the production schedule for jets already ordered, but added no decisions had been made.
Chadwick said action by several congressional committees to add funding for 12 more EA-18G electronic attack fighters or Growlers "looked very positive" and should allow the company to keep the production line running a year longer than expected.
Boeing, has been lobbying U.S. lawmakers to add funding for additional EA-18G aircraft, arguing the planes offer the most sophisticated electronic attack capabilities available.
The company has previously said it needed to build at least two airplanes a month at the facility to keep rates economical.
Boeing is also chasing international orders for the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
Later this year, the U.S. Navy plans to test the possibility of using seven EA-18G Growlers on an aircraft carrier instead of the five currently used.

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