The Low, Low Price of $49.9 Million . . .



Aviation Week is reporting the following:

"Boeing is offering the Navy what one Pentagon source calls a 'tempting' deal for an all-time-low flyaway price of $49.9 million for new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. The cost is guaranteed for a third multi-year buy of 170 aircraft, but this is nearly double the Navy's stated commitment for 92 more. Still, the deal 'is going to be pretty tough for the Navy to turn down,' says a Pentagon official.

"The proposal comes as Defense Dept. leaders worry that the cost of Lockheed Martin's Joint Strike Fighter will continue to grow. The Navy has told Congress it has a shortfall of 50 fighters, due in part to two factors--an accelerated burn rate of fighter hours combined with decreased projections of the design life of existing aircraft. Boeing could begin delivering the first aircraft from this deal two years after the award date. The offer would carry the production line to 2013; current work ends in 2009."

Damn, what a steal. How is Boeing going to make ends meet? (I'll bet they're scrimping on food at the Paris Air Show chalets.) Although I swore I'd never be caught dead in a Hornet (wouldn't fly an airplane that didn't have a front seat), at that price I might just have to get a couple for me and the missus.

(Gouge: NC)

-- Ward

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