US House backs F/A-18E/F Super Hornet extension

Approved US defense spending bills this week move the Boeing F/A-18E/F one step closer to a multi-year procurement deal that could add two years to the life of the program — and potentially complicate the timing of the F-35C carrier-based variant.

Congress encouraged the US Navy to budget for a third multi-year procurement deal in fiscal 2010 to address an (optimistically) projected fighter shortfall of “approximately 69 aircraft”.

Boeing and the Navy are already in talks about pricing for a multi-year deal for at least 150 aircraft. That would include 90 fighters already planned for FY2010 and FY2011, plus at least 60 more. A five-year deal would extend annual orders through FY2014, with the last deliveries arriving in the fleet by FY2016.

It’s not yet clear if extending F/A-18E/F production could complicate matters for the F-35C, which is scheduled to enter full-rate production in FY2015. Overlapping, full-rate fighter orders by one service are rare, but stranger things have happened.

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One Response to US House backs F/A-18E/F Super Hornet extension

  1. ELP 28 September, 2008 at 11:36 am #

    The wear on legacy Hornets is kinda accelerating too. I expect that a multi-year procurement of the Super Hornet Block II is a given.

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