Boeing is going to sell its newly unveiled Block III F-18 jets to the US Navy.
The Boeing Company intends to sell the newly unveiled Block III F-18 jets to the US Navy in order to replace the F-35C fighters, transported on aircraft carriers, the Sputnik news agency reported on Wednesday.
According to the Chicago-based company, the F/A-18 model was significantly improved compared to the previous version of the F-18. Reportedly, the jet is capable to carry more fuel, has a greater payload and is equipped with new stealth sensors for the Russian PAK-FA and the Chinese J-20 stealth fighter.
Though, the Lockheed Martin Corporation obtained the original contract for all three variants, as well as the exclusive right to sell F-35s as a winner-take-all type deal, Boeing may find a way to sell more F-18s to the Pentagon, as US President Donald Trump berated the F-35 and asked Boeing to price out the Super Hornet fighter aircraft.
On Tuesday, Boeing vice president told the National Interest magazine that the company is confident in the existence of a “general acceptance” among procurement officials for purchase of several hundreds of the Block III F/A-18 for carrier wings instead of Lockheed’s F-35C.
Earlier in April, Sputnik reported that Washington had been considering a document, which was dedicated to an ability of the F/A-18 to fill “significant capabilities gaps,” left behind by the F-35. Reportedly, the paper claimed that the F/A-18 would be an “affordable solution to the inventory challenge” that the US Navy is currently facing.
Initially, the US Navy planned to buy 2,158 F-35 fighter jets during the whole program. Reportedly, an analysis of the Congressional Budget Office, issued in October 2014, revealed that buying F/A-18s and F-16s instead of F-35s saves $48 billion over a 10-year period.
Boeing argues that its newly unveiled Block III F-18 fighters can boast better range and payload capacity, despite lacking the F-35’s stealth characteristics.