Boeing Aims To Keep Building F/A-18 Jets Through 2020

By Andrea Shalal-Esa/Reuters

And while Gibbons conceded that there were “a lot of decisions yet to be made,” he said the Super Hornet production line would likely keep running until 2020 and beyond.

At $16,000 per flight hour, Boeing said the jet’s operating cost is far below that of the F-35, and its procurement price is also lower. Lockheed and Pentagon officials say the F-35’s production price is coming down, and it offers the military far more capabilities, including advanced electronic warfare and jamming capabilities and better radar-evading signatures.

“What Boeing is hoping is that the Navy will decide that it cannot afford a carrier-based version of the F-35,” said Loren Thompson, a defense consultant with close ties to Lockheed.

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