An internal Northrop Grumman presentation inadvertently posted on the public Internet provides a rare glimpse of the F/A-18 program's current manufacturing challenges and sales prospects over the next decade.
A cached snapshot of the 53-page presentation, dated 12 March 2008, has been preserved by the Google search engine on this web site:
(WARNING: Link contains presentation marked "proprietary level 1" by Northrop.)
Most illuminating is a slide revealing a potential delivery profile of new F/A-18E/Fs and EA-18Gs from 2006 to 2019. The chart reveals a proposal for an 18-aircraft plus-up by the USN in fiscal 2010 and 2011, and estimates a 100-aircraft buy in a third multi-year procurement deal that is currently under negotiation.
The slide also details the Boeing/Northrop strategy for winning sales from Australia and Canada -- two members of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development partnership. Northrop projects possible further Australian orders for 6 EA-18Gs in 2013 and 24 F/A-18E/Fs from 2014-17. Canada is also listed as a potential buyer from 2015 to 2018 of 24 F/A-18E/Fs.
In some cases, Northrop's projections are already out-dated or curiously incomplete. Neither Brazil nor Denmark are listed on the slide as potential F/A-18 customers, despite Boeing's ongoing sales campaigns in both countries. Boeing has since decided to withdraw from the contract competition in Switzerland.
"Potential" F/A-18E/F and EA-18G delivery profile
|US Navy (F/A-18E/F)||37||27||16||9|
|US Navy + UP (F/A-18E/F)||4||14|
|US Navy (EA-18G)||7||14||22||20||16||3||1|
|US Navy FY10-13 MYP3||9||32||30||24||5|
|Australia Follow-on (EA-18G)||6|
|Australia Follow-on (F/A-18E/F)||6||10||8|