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F-18 Advanced Hornet

This is a discussion on F-18 Advanced Hornet within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; Originally Posted by King Wally When were the 12 Aussie Growlers being produced? I heard 2017 delivery at one stage? ...


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Old December 10th, 2013   #61
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When were the 12 Aussie Growlers being produced? I heard 2017 delivery at one stage? I can only assume they are planning to toss that order at the back of the SH production line soon if not already.
If you have a look at the Boeing website and have a look at the 'overview' for the Growler (there is also one for the Super Hornet too) there are some details, below is the relevant bit for the RAAF's Growlers:

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....... With these Growlers and the recent Australia announcement to procure 12 Growlers, production will continue through 2016.
According to Boeing, the Growlers are being produced in 2016. If I remember correctly, when the Super Hornets were ordered, the USN gave up production slots to accommodate the RAAF order, but who knows this time, maybe they will be the last off the line (if no other orders are placed).

There hasn't been much info in the public domain about this, other than an article in the Defence website about a month a go stating that aircrew training was starting and RAAF would begin flying Growlers in 2017.
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Old December 10th, 2013   #62
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If the line were to close in 2016, suppliers likely start switching to building other things as,early as 2014 with no orders in the pipeline. The money should keep suppliers of long lead-time components in the mix.
It's a reprieve for Boeing until the F-35C production ramps up.
Agreed, I suppose if we get to this time next year (end of 2014) and there are no other USN or export orders, you would suspect that other than components being made for the remaining production run, the only components being made would be for spare parts inventories for the USN and RAAF.

No doubt Boeing will be making a lot of noise between now and then about saving manufacturing jobs.
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Old December 10th, 2013   #63
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The US Congress has just agreed on,a 2014 defense budget. It includes a provision for,additional F-18SHs so this will ensure the production line stays open a bit longer.
The 2014 budget does not have any new F/A-18s in it. The $75 mil is parts.
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Old December 10th, 2013   #64
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This article appeared overnight on the Flightglobal website:

Boeing confident over additional US Navy F/A-18 orders


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"I can easily envision the production line going beyond 2020," says Michael Gibbons, vice president and programme manager of Boeing's F/A-18E/F Super Hornet and E/A-18G Growler aircraft. "I could envision, easily, several more years of buys by the US Navy."
Boeing is suggesting that the line could stay open beyond 2020, no doubt Boeing will continue to 'talk up' the possibility of the line staying open for a long time as you would expect, but the reality without new orders may be another thing:

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Production of the fighter is currently scheduled to end in 2016, when Boeing completes the last aircraft currently on order by the navy. Those aircraft are being procured in the current fiscal year 2014, which ends next September.

He insists Boeing has no plans to shut the production line, which currently completes four aircraft per month, but which will slow to three monthly by 2016. Production could ultimately slip to two aircraft monthly and remain financially viable, according to Gibbons.
Then there was this one from the USN about withdrawing the pre-solicitation notice:

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On 9 December, US Navy Capt Frank Morley told Flightglobal he was responsible for posting the notice, calling it "a mistake".

"Administratively, it was an error [and was] my responsibility," Morley says, adding that the notice was an effort to ensure the navy maintains its aircraft "options."

"We pulled [the notice] back because it shouldn't have been out there," Morley says. "It was no indication of what the intent of the budget is for [fiscal year] 2015."
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Old December 10th, 2013   #65
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I believe the Superhornet line closes down in 2016 if no new orders come in. Assuming the USN and Australia don't place any further SH/Growler orders that leaves Canada and Brazil as the only likely customers. Embracer and Boeing have a marketing agreement for the KC-390 transport that Embracer is developing and Boeing has promised all sorts of technology transfers should the Superhornet be selected. However France's Rafale is in the running and France is promising nuclear sub technology as well. It will be an interesting contest. As for Canada, I doubt if any decision will be made before the next election in 2015. By the time the winners figure out what fighter to buy (either F-35 or F-18SH) the less expensive one might be out of production, then again if the Liberals win they might not buy anything.
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Old December 10th, 2013   #66
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The 2014 budget does not have any new F/A-18s in it. The $75 mil is parts.
Parts leading to new planes if this report is accurate.
Senate and House Committees Reach Defense Bill Compromise | USNI News

Senate and House Committees Reach Defense Bill Compromise

...The bill’s provisions include:

- Starting work on an East Coast missile defense shield.
- Increased oversight on the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) programs.
- Authorization for a new Gerald R. Ford-class nuclear aircraft carrier
- Advanced procurement for a new round of F-18 E/F Super Hornet carrier-based fighters
- Authorization for the Marine Corps Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV) - Prohibits the Pentagon from starting a new round of base closures
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Old December 10th, 2013   #67
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Things are crook, only .633 Trillion dollars next year.
I don't know how to read their phrasing, but it could just mean the advance procurement for the existing FA-18 multiyear buy. If it's for a new order of additional jets, we will find out soon enough. There will be a host of F-35C 'Death Spiral' articles and blogs.
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Old December 11th, 2013   #68
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Things are crook, only .633 Trillion dollars next year.
I don't know how to read their phrasing, but it could just mean the advance procurement for the existing FA-18 multiyear buy. If it's for a new order of additional jets, we will find out soon enough. There will be a host of F-35C 'Death Spiral' articles and blogs.
Fair point.
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Old January 18th, 2014   #69
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Christmas comes early for Boeing. I was expecting any money would go toward developing and certifying the ASH enhancements like the CFTs but they were able to swing the deal for new aircraft. Expect a deal for upgrades down the road.

Lockheed F-35 Comes Out Ahead in Spending Bill

Boeing Super Hornets: The Navy would get $75 million in advance procurement money for 22 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet fighter jets made by Chicago-based Boeing Co. (BA) as part of a multiyear procurement. Neither the advance funds nor the procurement authority was requested by the Pentagon.
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Old January 21st, 2014   #70
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Things are crook, only .633 Trillion dollars next year.
Billion, not trillion. 633 trillion is about eight times the value of everything produced in the whole world.
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Old January 21st, 2014   #71
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I guess you missed the decimal point and perhaps I should have expressed it with a preceding naught like this for clarity. 0.633 US Trillion
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Old January 21st, 2014   #72
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As Canadians we have the largest army in the world next door, and a defense budget shrinking ,we need to be realistic about what we can afford, and what exactly our role in global politics and warfare actually is, The f-35 is probably not what we need, stealth missions are cute and fluffy and would be very prestigious, but not what our armed forces would be doing on a regular basis. When we have the power to pick up the phone and call the Americans for those missions,who already have that tech in place the f-35 looks very unrealistic, and foolish.
The advanced super hornet comes with a price tag that is affordable and more with in our means. It is a multi-role jet with updated avionics and much heavier payload. Afghanistan has proven to us that we need to provide our own tactical close combat support aircraft, It would allow us to be in more places on the ground at once. As it is our air force is spread thinly and we depend on our allies for roles that we could fill our selves. Let the Americans provide air superiority and let Canada provide for our troops.
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Old January 21st, 2014   #73
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Never heard the capability to bust through the doors of an IADS on day 1 called 'cute and fluffy' before, hear it more with humanitarian work.

As to your last comment, that's a bit hypocritical. You want the United States to achieve air dominance for a coalition and yet you believe Canada's contribution should be to look after their own?

When i've talked to guys who've been there, generally when they want air support they're not particularly bothered about who is supplying it, more about getting it ASAP and on target.
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Old January 21st, 2014   #74
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The advanced Hornet also has the stealth weapons pod that can be attached as needed, and detached as needed. The US navy will be purchasing the advanced super hornet and no doubt will be used as an air superiority weapons platform as well. I fail to see why we need an overly priced aircraft that has raised a lot of eyebrows as to whether it can operate in Arctic conditions. So what is the actual advantage to having a 490 million dollar aircraft that if history repeats itself will rise in production cost, not to even mention the maintenance costs and midlife refurbishments, and avionics updates. The money saved will go along way to keep Canada in the air for regular training missions and international peacekeeping missions. The policies and goals of Canada are different than that of our Allies, our military needs to uphold those goals, we are not in the habit of interfering with other countries and there internal conflicts, and if the time comes when we need to, I'm sure that the option to purchase more tech will still be on the table.
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Old January 21st, 2014   #75
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The US navy will be purchasing the advanced super hornet
Ad the F-35C

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490 million dollar aircraft that if history repeats itself will rise in production cost
Fiction, the unit price of the airframe and the engine is seeing cost decreases every production batch as numbers increase and production methods gain the advantage of buying in bulk.

The cost of an F-35A is ~$120mn including engine, maintenance, spares as of LRIP-6 IIRC and it's dropping every single batch. Your number is way off.

120mn for a batch of 71 total, imagine what the costs will be once the USAF alone starts getting 60 a time

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not to even mention the maintenance costs and midlife refurbishments, and avionics updates[/I][/B].
And supporting the Super Hornet equally won't suffer those same cost rises?

I've nothing against your choice of aircraft for Canada, but your information about the program isn't accurate
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