The needs of the US Navy aside, the prospect of keeping Boeing in the business of building Super Hornet fighters raises any number of cost issues, along with the possibility of more future exports.
Last week, Navy officials made the case for requesting additional funding for two to three dozen more F/A-18s in order to have enough aircraft to meet missions as the service awaits the F-35.
"Where are they going to get the money for it?" asked Byron Callan, a defense market analyst with Capital Alpha Partners, echoing the most obvious question in a town where sequestration-related spending restrictions are a pervasive topic.
"It answers the question of 'how do I keep the Boeing line open so when I decide to truncate the Joint Strike Fighter there will still be something there?' " said Jerry Hendrix, a former director of Navy History, now a defense analyst with the Center for a New American Security. He referred to long-standing suspicions that the Navy wants to reduce its buy of 680 Lockheed Martin F-35s, something the service strenuously denies.
Read the full article at Defense News.