Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet

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"Boeing sees contract soon for 47 more F/A-18, EA-18G fighters"
by Jim Young
ST. LOUIS Mon May 5, 2014 1:43pm EDT

Source:

(Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) has reached agreement with the U.S. Navy on a multibillion-dollar contract for 47 more F/A-18 fighter jets and EA-18G electronic attack planes funded in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and is "very close" to signing a contract, a top company executive said Monday.

Mike Gibbons, Boeing's program manager for both fighter jets, said the contract would include 11 F/A-18 Super Hornets funded in fiscal 2013, 21 EA-18G "Growlers" funded in fiscal 2014, 12 Growlers for Australia and three additional EA-18G planes included in a legal settlement with the U.S. government.

He said the contract could be finalized and signed within the next two months. Gibbons gave no details on the total value of the contract.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio)
 

GTX

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I would read the facts a little closer. The Australian Growlers for instance are the same 12 announced back in 2012...
 

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Boeing Confident in Production of Super Hornet Beyond 2017
By Allyson Versprille
July 30, 2015

Source:
http://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?List=7c996cd7-cbb4-4018-baf8-8825eada7aa2&ID=1914

As Boeing continues discussions with both foreign and domestic customers, a company executive said he is confident that international demand and a strong desire for the aircraft by the U.S. Navy will push production of Super Hornets and Growlers past 2017.

The Navy did not request funding for Super Hornets in its fiscal year 2016 budget proposal. However, in March the service solicited Congress for additional aircraft in its unfunded priorities list. Lawmakers are still deciding whether or not to fund those 12 aircraft, worth $1.15 billion.

In the document, the Navy stated “our legacy strike fighters (F/A-18A-D) are reaching end of life faster than planned due to use and wear. Improving the inventory of F/A-18F and F-35C aircraft will help reconcile a near term (2018-2020) strike fighter inventory capacity challenge, and longer term (2020-2035) strike fighter model balance within the carrier air wing. It will reduce our reliance on legacy-model aircraft which are becoming increasingly expensive and less reliable.”

Daniel Gillian, vice president of F/A-18 and EA-18G programs for Boeing Defense, said he is optimistic that the House and Senate Armed Services Committees — as well as defense appropriations subcommittees — will support the push for more Super Hornets.

"I think near-term FY16 a lot of the momentum is behind Super Hornet and the committees that mark down Super Hornet, [and] we see that holding up," he said.

There are also positive signs from Kuwait, where discussions on purchasing the aircraft are currently taking place, he told reporters.

"Ongoing discussions in the Middle East are certainly moving forward and we're confident that we're moving towards something there, along with [the] FY16" Navy requests, Gillian said. "We're seeing enough demand signals from the market to make a decision to continue moving forward with production."

In May, Reuters reported that the deal with Kuwait would involve 28 Boeing Super Hornets and would total more than $3 billion. Such a deal would keep the company's mixed-model Super Hornet and Growler production line in Saint Louis, Missouri, open until 2019, Gillian said.

"Currently production with the 15 Growlers from last year that were added in FY15, goes through December 2017," he said. If the company lands both Kuwait and the 12 planes for the U.S. Navy, production will be pushed out to the fall of 2019.

There are also opportunities in Denmark, which is currently seeking to procure a new fighter jet. Boeing is proposing 24 to 36 of the two-seat variant of the Super Hornet, Gillian said. The company faces competition from Lockheed Martin's F-35 joint strike fighter. Denmark is expected to make a downselect decision in the fourth quarter of this year. Such a sale — in addition to the aforementioned opportunities — would extend production through 2021, Gillian said.

Canada and Belgium are two other possibilities for Super Hornet sales, he noted.

In Canada, the issue is whether the nation will pursue an election that results in a change in government, he said. "We think a change in government would lead to a potential discussion about a competition. Right now, they're on a path to the F-35."

Belgium is following Denmark's decision but a downselect would be years away, Gillian added.

Boeing is in the process of slowing down production of the aircraft in coming years from three per month — its current rate — to two per month in the first quarter of next calendar year, he said.

He stressed the importance of future Super Hornet sales for the company, especially within the United States.

"I think the 12 planes are particularly important in the context of the Super Hornet shortfall that the CNO [chief of naval operations] discussed in his testimony," he said. In April, Adm. Jonathan Greenert said the Navy has a "Super Hornet shortfall" of at least two or three squadrons — the equivalent of 24 to 36 aircraft.

"The Super Hornet is truly the workhorse of naval combat operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant," Greenert said before the House Armed Services Committee. "It is an absolutely critical, in-demand weapon against our enemies."

Gillian said keeping production lines open is also essential on an international level. "It's important because it's part of a bigger discussion and it allows the international market to continue to develop a lot of the discussion about Growler force structure."

The company wants to continue employing the team it has in place, he said. "It is certainly important to Boeing for continuing to employ the team that we have with all of the skills they have to continue building an airplane that can land on an aircraft carrier, which is a unique and perishable skill set."
 
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Ian33

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The UK screwed up not making our carriers cat and trap. The Growler is a formidable and vital asset, as well as a mean as hell aircraft to try fight against.

I got talking to a Typhoon pilot who spent time on the aircraft and he marvelled about its ability to kill an aircraft dead in the air by electronics alone, then add insult to injury and shoot it down.
 

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Flying out of NAS Whidbey Island this EA-18G flies close to the south side of Mt. Rainier in the State of Washington. Enjoy! -SP
 

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RAP

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Nice photo, thanks Steve. I really like the way some of the current A/C look in the throw back camo.
 

StGrendel

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I know the Super Hornet has offset/canted weapon pylons to help with stores separation, which consequently has very negative impacts on drag and fuel consumption (range) as a quick fix. However, I have heard that Boeing had previously proposed or had already developed a fix that offer straight/non-canted pylons. I swear, I've heard it before from multiple places, but now I'm having trouble finding any documentation of it. Can anyone help in tracking some down some sources?
 

Archibald

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There is a very simple fix, damn it: have pylons that tilt to the sides when they drop the bombs, and move back to clean aerodynamics thereafter.
 

StGrendel

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Was looking for a more official reference to a possible existing design or proposal from Boeing or the Navy that would have a bit more detail on how they planned on having straight/non-canted pylons.

Still, your idea is an intriguing (if not blatantly cool) one, but possibly overly complex and expensive for what the Navy is looking for and what Boeing is willing to spend in development.
 

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As much as the canted pylons hurt to look at - in addition to the drag penalty, I was surprised that the pylons weren't straightened out for the EA-18G Growler.

Yes, I understand that the Growler (nominally) has retained a "swing-role" attack capability, but the number of folks who believe(d) those airframes would actually be used for such a role are few and far between. Add in the unlikely event that they would punch off the expensive bits, it seems like a lost opportunity to straighten out the pylons for the EW/Attack role and save some drag on what is already a draggy platform (assuming you can launch missiles such as the HARM and AMRAAM without the same separation issues).

Ugh! Those pylons are tough to look at....
attachment.php
 

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Fuel tanks may still need to be dropped. HARMs still need to be launched.
 

Ogami musashi

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IIRC one AMA with a superhornet driver on reddit the pylon are canted for one and only one weapon that may pose problem. He was obviously very critical of that choice.
 

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Here's the story that I heard - supposedly from a Boeing employee. Who knows.

Boeing had the technology (90's) to run computer simulations for Super Hornet that had not been available when the Hornet was designed. So Boeing ran these computer simulations for the Super Hornet that told them that in a certain flight envelope there was a risk of certain types of ordinance hitting the wings/flaps. The cheapest way to eliminate the risk was to put in the weapons pylon cant we have today.

Several years later, Boeing got around to running the same computer simulations on the legacy Hornet and found the same risk existed for the older jet. So - since there has never been an instance of ordinance hitting a wing or flap on the legacy Hornet, Boeing went back to the Navy to say "hey, we think that risk we talked about is minimal, would you like us to design the wing pylon can't back out?"

The Navy decided to not spend the money. Hence the pylon cant.
 

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When F/A–18E Super Hornet was presented to NAVY all the pylons was straight. It has two additional pylons at the wingroots to carry more payload than old Hornet. Suddenly it appears that new Super Hornet cannot use ordnance from these new hardpoints. Missiles' exhaust will be sucked into engine intake and cause a compressor stall. And bombs can hit fuselage.
The fix was simple: let's cant the pylons! Hurrah!
Yep. But now there is another problem: mid-wing pylons. Huh... Well... We'll cant them too!
So it goes. ;)
 

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http://dsca.mil/major-arms-sales/government-kuwait-fa-18ef-super-hornet-aircraft-support

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2016 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Kuwait for F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Aircraft with support, equipment, and training. The estimated cost is $10.1 billion. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on November 17, 2016.

The Government of Kuwait has requested to purchase thirty-two (32) F/A-18E aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines; eight (8) F/A-18F aircraft, with F414-GE-400 engines; eight (8) spare F414-GE-400 engines and twenty-four (24) engine modules; forty-one (41) AN/APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) Radars; forty-four (44) M61A2 20mm Gun Systems; forty-five (45) AN/ALR-67(V)3 Radar Warning Receivers; two hundred and forty (240) LAU-127E/A Guided Missile Launchers; forty-five (45) AN/ALE-47 Airborne Countermeasures Dispenser Systems; twelve (12) AN/AAQ-33 SNIPER Advanced Targeting Pods; forty-eight (48) Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS); forty-five (45) AN/ALQ-214 Radio Frequency Counter-Measures Systems; forty-five (45) AN/ALE-55 Towed Decoys; forty-eight (48) Link-16 Systems; eight (8) Conformal Fuel Tanks; and fourteen (14) AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR Systems. Also included in the sale are ARC-210 radio (aircraft); Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems; AN/AVS-9 Night Vision Goggles (NVG); Launchers (LAU- 115D/A, LAU-116B/A, LAU-l 18A); Command Launch Computer (CLC) for Air to Ground Missile 88 (AGM-88); ANAV/MAGR GPS Navigation; Joint Mission Planning System (JMPS); aircraft spares; Aircraft Armament Equipment (AAE); support equipment; aircrew/maintenance training; contractor engineering technical service; logistics technical services; engineering technical services; other technical assistance; contractor logistics support; flight test services; storage and preservation; aircraft ferry; Repair of Repairable (RoR); support systems and associated logistics; training aides and devices; spares; technical data Engineering Change Proposals; avionics software support; software; technical publications; engineering and program support; U.S. Government and contractor engineering; technical and logistic support services. The estimated total program cost is $10.1 billion.

This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a Major Non-NATO Ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political and economic progress in the Middle East. Kuwait is a strategic partner in maintaining stability in the region. The acquisition of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft will allow for greater interoperability with U.S. forces, providing benefits for training and possible future coalition operations in support of shared regional security objectives.

The proposed sale of the F/A- l8E/F Super Hornet aircraft will improve Kuwait's capability to meet current and future warfare threats. Kuwait will use the enhanced capability to strengthen its homeland defense. The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft will supplement and eventually replace the Kuwait Air Force's aging fighter aircraft. Kuwait will have no difficulty absorbing this aircraft into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

The prime contractors will be The Boeing Company, St. Louis, Missouri; Northrop Grumman in Los Angeles, California; Raytheon Company in El Segundo, California; and General Electric in Lynn, Massachusetts. Offsets agreements associated with this proposed sale are expected; however, specific agreements are undetermined and will be defined during negotiations between the purchaser and contractor. Kuwait requires contractors to satisfy an offset obligation equal to 35 percent of the main contract purchase price for any sale of defense articles in excess of three million Kuwait Dinar, (approximately $10 million USD).

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of contractor representatives to Kuwait on an intermittent basis over the life of the case to support delivery of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and provide support and equipment familiarization.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.

All questions regarding this proposed Foreign Military Sale should be directed to the State Department's Bureau of Political Military Affairs, Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, pm-cpa@state.gov.
 

bring_it_on

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Potentially, $30 Billion worth of fighter orders in a single day (I know long pending deals but still). Add the earlier F-15SA deal and Boeing is doing quite well by international standards in a post JSF world especially given they haven't really designed anything new. Now if only they can let us know what the heck is going on with F-15SA's that they keep stacking up without delivering.
 

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bring_it_on said:
Potentially, $30 Billion worth of fighter orders in a single day (I know long pending deals but still). Add the earlier F-15SA deal and Boeing is doing quite well by international standards in a post JSF world especially given they haven't really designed anything new. Now if only they can let us know what the heck is going on with F-15SA's that they keep stacking up without delivering.

Some US allies reminding the incoming president that they also buy American...
 

bring_it_on

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The general consensus was that the WH was holding this back so it could have happened a lot sooner. I'm trying to tally up the total Boeing fighter exports since loosing the JSF contract. It should be above $50-60 Billion at the very least. Folks keep forgetting this when they paint a doom and gloom picture of Boeing exiting the fighter jet enterprise.
 

marauder2048

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bring_it_on said:
The general consensus was that the WH was holding this back so it could have happened a lot sooner. I'm trying to tally up the total Boeing fighter exports since loosing the JSF contract. It should be above $50-60 Billion at the very least. Folks keep forgetting this when they paint a doom and gloom picture of Boeing exiting the fighter jet enterprise.

But aside from Australia, we don't know if Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait were given the option of an F-35 acquisition.
My guess, based on the what transpired around F-15SE for the Saudis, is that they were not. Not saying that it would have
necessarily changed their acquisition decision but it's a big confound.
 

bring_it_on

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Most certainly. My point was that there is plenty of meat on the bone out there for Boeing to keep its fighter ambitions funded into the future. Lack of JSF while a severe blow wasn't all doom and gloom for its fighter business. I mean by most standards having > $ 60 Billion in fighter-aircraft exports over 16 years on top of more than 500 domestic sales in the same period is a hell of a position to be in :). I mean its tough to really claim that Boeing is at a financial disadvantage vis-a-vis a Lockheed going into the PCA or any other future fast jet program.
 

marauder2048

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bring_it_on said:
Most certainly. My point was that there is plenty of meat on the bone out there for Boeing to keep its fighter ambitions funded into the future. Lack of JSF while a severe blow wasn't all doom and gloom for its fighter business. I mean by most standards having > $ 60 Billion in fighter-aircraft exports over 16 years on top of more than 500 domestic sales in the same period is a hell of a position to be in :). I mean its tough to really claim that Boeing is at a financial disadvantage vis-a-vis a Lockheed going into the PCA or any other future fast jet program.

Given the offset requirements, it's not clear to me how much net income from these FMS sales Boeing is really able to devote to IRAD.
And while Boeing's LRS-B proposal was technically superior to NG's it's not clear how much of that was Lockheed and how much of that
can be devoted to PCA. Certainly PCA sounds like it's a very large fighter aircraft compared to previous aircraft that performed
penetrating counter-air. If F-15SE or ASH had gone forward I'd be far more confident in their prospects.
 

bring_it_on

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The SA actually has some of the smarter features from the SE. The FBW, the cockpit, and some other systems but I get your point. They aren't really short on cash given their sheer size but I was thinking more in terms of having a healthy, well funded team and retaining talent despite loosing competitions. If you're not cranking out high end systems you better have a very healthy IRAD pipeline to stay competitive.
 

marauder2048

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bring_it_on said:
The SA actually has some of the smarter features from the SE. The FBW, the cockpit, and some other systems but I get your point. They aren't really short on cash given their sheer size but I was thinking more in terms of having a healthy, well funded team and retaining talent despite loosing competitions. If you're not cranking out high end systems you better have a very healthy IRAD pipeline to stay competitive.

And some of the Kuwaiti Super Bugs will come with the conformal fuel tanks intended for ASH.
So with F-15SA and whatever is planned for F-15QA there's new stuff there to keep some of your design and manufacturing talent occupied and engaged.
 

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sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
And while Boeing's LRS-B proposal was technically superior to NG's

Any details on this?

Same question jumped out to me as well.

Also...

Makes absolutely no sense to me to purchase F-18's for US domestic use. Increase the production volume of F-35. It is the platform the Navy needs to settle on for the next few years. The quicker the CVW's can move to, integrate/get up to speed on this platform the better.

Also - increased production volumes will absolutely bring down the price. LRIP 9 is at ~US$100M sans engine.
 

marauder2048

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sferrin said:
marauder2048 said:
And while Boeing's LRS-B proposal was technically superior to NG's

Any details on this?

Just my inference from this gem from the GAO protest.
 

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Without knowing what the subfactors are it's difficult to judge; just that Boeing checked off more boxes. If the boxes Boeing missed were, RCS, Range, Payload, and Cost, well. . .you see what I mean?
 

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http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/canada-to-negotiate-for-new-f-a--purchases/article_d26a4b1b-a724-5489-be9e-8e379715e5d9.html

So it's official.

Lord knows when the Canadians will actually receive these jets. Looks like at the line will be open at least through 2020. Good for St. Louis at least.
 

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This doesn't seem like a good idea if you want to continue to sell Super Hornets (or anything else) to Donald Trumps DoD. Heck, he's talked about a 35% tariff on a US$20k Ford for production that leaves the US. Imagine the cost (political and fiscal) for moving production of US$60M F-18's. Trump would probably threaten to cancel the replacement Air Force 1.

Ok - it's a little tongue-in-cheek. But not too much. This could have serious political ramifications for Boeing.
 

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1st, It's a lease, not a buy

2nd, Given Trumps harsh words to "allies" who don't pay their share, I doubt Canada will get any new JSF contracts if they keep dragging this out. I would not be surprised if he tells Boeing that they are on their own in setting up the lease. Good luck selling them at the end of the term. Trump is first and foremost a businessman and he knows that Canada buying/leasing the SH instead of having an open comp (or God forbid sticking to the original deal) is just bad for America's interests.


The Official Press Release says:
Canada announces plan to replace fighter jet fleet - Canada News Centre

The Government will enter into discussions with the U.S. Government and Boeing regarding use of these jets for an interim period of time.

That screams lease, not buy.
 

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Boeing PR needs to do an Advanced Growler graphic with CFT's and the new Jammer pods.
 

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marauder2048

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bring_it_on said:
SpudmanWP said:
That screams lease, not buy.

https://twitter.com/LeighGiangreco/status/801436700098564096

In theory, Boeing has the currency hedging chops to insulate the Canadian Peso from some of the wilder fluctations its been experiencing.
 

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Trump teases Super Hornet order

 

bring_it_on

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Boeing plans delivery of block 3 by 2020 if funded for in FY18. While it is certainly doable, in light of the recent US Navy solicitation of F-414 Enhanced upgrades, block 3 may be rolled out to the fleet in increments and what Boeing promises as part of the XT is simply a standard F-18 E with CFT's that gets upgraded incrementally to block 3 configuration at some point in the future.
 

marauder2048

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The last thing a service struggling to maintain multiple configurations of a fighter needs is yet another configuration.
 
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