Feb 28, 2015

U.S. Navy opens door to more orders of Superhornet, Growler

The U.S. Navy on Thursday opened the door to further purchases of F/A-18 and EA-18G fighter jets, saying it may ask lawmakers to finance the planes as part of a list of "unfunded priorities" to be sent to Congress.
More orders would help Boeing extend its St. Louis F/A-18 production line beyond 2017, but congressional aides and defense officials said it remained unclear if Congress would ultimately fund more jets at a time when it has yet to reach agreement about removing budget caps that are due to resume in 2016.
Navy could face possible fighter jet shortfalls on its aircraft carriers next decade when most older model F/A-18s will be retired but the Navy will still be buying newer F-35 fighter jets built by Lockheed Martin Corp.
The Navy is also starting to work with Boeing on refurbishing existing jets to improve the current availability rate of the aircraft, which has sunk to around 50 percent.

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