UPDATE 2-Boeing, backers to fight for funding for 22 Boeing jets

Mon May 5, 2014 7:44pm EDT

(Adds comments from lawmakers, former Pentagon official)

By Andrea Shalal

ST. LOUIS May 5 (Reuters) - Boeing Co and its supporters on Monday vowed to fight for $2.1 billion in funding for 22 EA-18G electronic attack planes in fiscal 2015 to keep the plane's St. Louis production line running past 2016 and preserve 60,000 jobs around the country.

Hundreds of Boeing workers attended a rally at the plant on Monday to mark the delivery of the 100th EA-18G "Growler" to the Navy, as the company highlighted the plane's unique capabilities and accelerated its campaign to keep the program alive.

Lawmakers from Missouri said they had already gathered over 80 signatures from Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives, and the International Association of Machinists said it would send 26 members to Washington next week to lobby for continued production of the planes.

Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the on-time, on-budget performance of the Boeing program marked a stark contrast to Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 fighter program, whose cost overruns and delays she described as "embarrassingly bad."

Boeing officials say the Growler, which provides electronic jamming and surveillance, will work together with F-35s on the deck of Navy carriers, but executives say the Growler could also take over some missions now done by strike aircraft.

McCaskill said the F/A-18 Super Hornet offered 85 percent of the F-35's capabilities at far less cost. She said the Navy needed both planes, but added, "at some point you cut your losses."

F-35 backers worry that the Navy could back out of its plans to buy 260 of the Lockheed jets and start using them from 2019 on, if Congress keeps funding more of the Boeing aircraft.

As it battles for more funding, Boeing has downplayed the importance of the F-35's "stealthy" characteristics, arguing that enemy radars have advanced and the Growler is the only U.S. warplane that can deal with a full range of enemy radar threats.

Lockheed insists that the F-35 was designed to go into battle without support aircraft like the EA-18G, and offers advanced stealth and electronic warfare capabilities of its own.

Boeing is also vying for future orders of 24 to 60 F/A-18 Super Hornets in the Middle East, said Mike Gibbons, program manager for the F/A-18 and EA-18G jets, which are based on a common airframe.

Gibbons told reporters Boeing hoped to hear back from the unnamed Middle Eastern buyers by the end of the year, and Canada is due to unveil its fighter plans in coming months.

Boeing this week showed Denmark its F/A-18 simulators, and will do a flight demonstration next week, Boeing officials said.

The company got bad news on Monday when the House Armed Services Committee proposed adding $450 mln to the U.S. Navy's fiscal 2015 budget for just five more Boeing Co EA-18G electronic attack planes, well short of the 22 jets on the Navy's list of "unfunded priorities."

In a statement, the committee said it found savings across the Defense Department to fund many key programs, but "there simply was not enough to save every program."

The panel said Buck McKeon "recognizes the need for continued production of the EA-18G Growler but was only able to fund five additional aircraft."

Brett Lambert, who headed the Pentagon's industrial policy office until last August, said the committee's move underscored the challenging budget environment and competing priorities. "It's a recognition of the reality on the ground. There are a lot of deserving programs, there's just not enough money."

Gibbons said Boeing had reached an agreement with the Navy on the terms of a multibillion-dollar contract for 47 more F/A-18 fighter jets and EA-18G electronic attack planes that were funded in fiscal years 2013 and 2014. He said he expected the contract to be signed in the next two months.

Gibbons said the deal 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 EA-18G planes included in a legal settlement with the U.S. government. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Bernard Orr)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/
Comments (1)
tomas85225 wrote:
Its appear that Andrea Shalal has never visited California where the F/A-18E&F&G and the F-35 and other program are build by Northrop!



“The Growler could also take over some missions now done by strike aircraft.” What by deleting the electronic pods and installing weapons !

The US Navy has 14 aircraft carrier that carry 89 aircraft and four EA-18-G replacing the Gummer EA-6B

Boeing in Jacked Village Florida and the US Navy in San Diego is currently update and overhaul the Northrop F/A-18

Northrop design and build the YF-17 for USAF Lightweight Fighter Program that General Dynamics YF-16 won the contact that later become the Northrop F/A-18 alone with the patent for the Aircraft



The aft and center section are build in El Segundo California then ship to McDonnell now Boeing for competition and delivers to McDonnell now Boeing in St Louise Missouri
The agreement between Northrop and McDonnell stated that all land base sell of the F/A-18 would be the F-18L the light weight version of F/A-18
Northrop sues and won their Lawsuit against McDonnell over land base sale
McDonnell pay Northrop for the lost of all sale of F-18L ,
but the F-18L was never built by Northrop
All land base sell where the light weight version of F/A-18 where design by McDonnell mostly a light weight landing gears.

The Northrop F/A-18 is market as the Boeing F/A-18E & F and the EA-18-G

Boeing has yet to sale the international version of the F/A-18 or the F-15 SE



Many of the Boeing cash cow program have ended like Sea Launch and the Rockwell NAAO Space Shuttle ,Lockheed-Boeing F-22 ect
other program like the 747-8, 767 , Douglas C-17, Northrop F/A-18, McDonnell F-15 will end soon

Military and Space make up half of Boeing profits, But the Boeing Stock remain over price

Boeing’s total consolidated debt was $9.6 billion, yet its net pension liability was an even larger obligation at $10.4 billion. So Boeing will cut the workforce benefits to paid off Boeing debt ! see

Boeing will buy back $10 billion stock that sold as low as $17.88 on 3-28-2003
Boeing announces $10 billion buyback, raises dividend | Reuters
Boeing stock history


Northrop has been a supplier to Boeing since 1956 on the Kc-135A, SST prototype, 747 fuselage and super panels and other programs

Boeing was one of Northrop subcontract on the B-2 bomber for aft, center and wing section
Where Boeing stolen the Northrop B-2 composite manual to used on the 777, 787 ect


Northrop builds the Aft and center of the Northrop-BAE- Lockheed F-35 at plant 42 at site 4 in Palmdale CA

To date there is no EA-35 of the F-35 and the F-4G wild wisled, General Dynamics/Grumman EF-111AB Raven and EA-6B has been retired

The Government did not buy the and Russian are now building the Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut Golden Eagle

May 06, 2014 9:16pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.