WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N) highlighted the affordability and capability of its F-18 fighter jets, saying Wednesday it had offered them at less than $50 million each to cover the U.S. Navy’s expected “fighter gap” until the new F-35 fighter is available.
“We continue to work on F-18 to make it more affordable, more survivable... and more capable and offer that up as an alternative to some of the other programs that might be pursued,” Jim Albaugh, the head of Boeing’s defense business, told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington.
The twin-engine F-18, which was developed in the 1970s for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, can be used for surveillance and other missions, and could be an alternative if there are delays in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, he said.
Boeing’s proposal to the Navy, submitted “last summer,” would be based on a multiyear contract, he said. “We gave them several different scenarios. We would like a decision on the next multiyear for F18s sometime in 2009 calendar year.”
Reporting by Julie Vorman; Editing by Tim Dobbyn