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Boeing Wins Contract To Support F/A-18 Fighters

The Australian government invested in F/A-18 “Hornet” fighter and attack aircraft as an interim solution while waiting for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to be delivered. The Boeing built aircraft have seen heavy use by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps over the last twenty years and represented a good investment for the Pacific country. It has now been reported that Boeing (BA) will receive a contract to provide further maintenance support for the aircraft. This contract is worth about $1.5 million.

This six year contract will see Boeing advising the Tactical Fighter Systems Program Office with maintenance and upgrade planning and execution.

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Australia’s First F/A-18 Delivered

Boeing delivered the first F/A-18 Super Hornet for Australia on July 8. This is the first of twenty-four. The aircraft will provide a stop gap until either the F-35 JSF or the F-22 aircraft Australia has expressed interest in buying. The total value of the contract to Boeing is about $3 billion.

The F-18 for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps is facing the end of production as the Obama Administration has proposed accelerating deliveries of the F-35 for those services as well as the U.S. Air Force. This is tied in to the ending of F-22 production. Congress has not received these proposals well and have included continued F-22 deliveries in the appropriation and authorization bills working their way through both Houses. The House has also looked at increasing planned F-18 deliveries as well as exploring the award of another multi-year production contract. Multi-year contracts have to be specifically authorized and have been used for large aircraft contracts in a bid to keep overall costs down. If there is a consistent buy profile over several years it makes it easier for the contractors to manage supplies and material ideally reducing costs.

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