Congress has approved a potential foreign sale for 60 F-35A aircraft, or 60 F-15 Silent Eagle aircraft for South Koreas F/X-III requirement. Both are competing with each other, along with the Eurofighter Typhoon for the deal. A final decision is expected this June.
In other news, the USN has announced that it expects the RAAF to purchase 12-24 additional F/A-18F Super Hornets this summer. They also have high expectations for sales with Brazil, Malaysia, and Kuwait. Boeing Co. recently gave a demonstration of the fighter at Malaysia’s annual airshow in March. The Navy will be sending information regarding the F-18 family to Canada shortly, but a formal competition is not expected to be implemented for aircraft selection. Although Canada had committed to the F-35 in 2010, the country was recently forced to re-evaluate its options from the general auditor because of price increases and delays with the JSF.
Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff has delayed the buy of thirty six new fighter jets for a third time. All bidding contractors were asked to re-submit their applications after March 30th, the delay will extend the negotiation time another six months. Brazil is unhappy with the amount of money needing to be spent and could be using the continued delays to negotiate a better overall price. Boeing is offering a Block II Super Hornet, Dassault its Rafale fighter and the Gripen from Swedish manufacture Saab. Boeing is seen as the front liner in the contract because of a competitive price, and recent agreements with Brazilian based Ebarer. Although first deliveries were initially set to start in 2014, the earliest as of now would be early 2016 because of the ongoing delay.
Brazil is just one out of many countries currently considering the Super Hornet, which also includes an additional buy from Australia and considerations from Canada and Malaysia.
It’s a rather long article, so I am going to summarize the main points:
(Canadian press takes a visit to Boeing’s main hangar, look closely and you can see an F-15 wing to the far right)
And some words from Boeing’s chief F/A-18 test pilot and fellow Canadian Ricardo Traven:
Twin engines, dual redundant hydraulics … I mean, I can go on and on,” Traven enthuses. “Those are the things I don’t want to give up in flying to remote places or even in combat, because those are the things that’ll bring you home.”
Canada is currently looking at alternatives to the F-35, and Boeing’s Super Hornet is looked upon favorably due to the commonality with the country’s current CF-18 fleet. Australia is currently looking into buying an additional 2 dozen airframes, and Brazil has been looking at a 3 dozen purchase since 2010. To date over 500 Super Hornets have been delivered to the USN and RAAF, current orders keep the line open until 2016.
The United States Navy today announced that it will be ordering an additional 15 F-18 airframes to the MYP III contract. The original order was for 124 airframes, while an additional 12 were added on last year. This second add on brings the total number of hornets to 151 for the Navy’s third multi-year purchase. At least three dozen have already been delivered from the order this year; all will be completed by July 2015.
Boeing is urging Congress to act on a fourth MYP in order to extend the production line’s and keep the U.S. Navy fleet from shrinking any lower. To date the company has delivered over 550 F/A-18E/F/G’s to the USN and Australia.
The Block II and Block III variants are currently in compeition’s with Brazil, Malaysia, and Denmark while Canada has requested information on the airframe as well. Over 30,000 people worldwide are employed directly with the jet.
In some pleasant news today, it was revealed that in August the country of Qatar was given two F-15E Strike Eagles and two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets for testing and evaluation. They plan to expand and update their fighter fleet with a contract of 25-35 new build jet fighters. Both of Boeing’s products have been in stiff competition, as the country is also considering the Rafale and F-16. Rafale is said to be the forefront choice, with Boeing’s jets trailing right behind. The country’s pilots got to fly and train first hand with the French in 2011. Boeing established it’s first office in Qatar back in 2010 with the sole purpose of this contract apparently. Nothing else is known about the competition such as requirements, but the decision should be made in a matter of months. I have to say that this competition is a bit odd, as the F-15 is in a completely different class than the F-18, Rafale, and F-16. No doubt it will have the highest cost of all of them, because it is meant for a much broader mission than the others. If South Korea chooses the Silent Eagle, this could give Boeing an advantage by having a share partner for the next generation platform.
So in the next year we have:
Brazil- Possible 36 Super Hornets (Main competition being Rafale).
South Korea- Possible 60 F-15SE Silent Eagles (Deadlock with F-35 and Typhoon).
Qatar- Possible- 25-35 Silent Eagles/Super Hornets (Main competition being Rafale).
Malaysia- Possible 18 Super Hornets (Main competition being Rafale).
Australia- Possible 18 Super Hornets (Main competition being F-35’s cost/timeline).
The stakes are high; there’s a lot of airframes on the line here!
Brazil recently announced that it is delaying it’s fighter decision, indefinitely. They blame a poor economic progress report and a need to re-evaluate on what is truly needed for the country. The fighter competition has been going on for nearly a decade and as of now has no formal date for choosing a winner. Boeing has entered it’s Block II Super Hornet for the prize of 36 fighters, and has been pushing hard for a possible win. When asked for comment, Boeing stated ” we are prepared to wait for the decision of the Brazilian government”.
Looks like that may be a long wait.
(Source: The Wall Street Journal)
Boeing’s F/A-18 line has orders with the USN to withstand production up to the 1st quarter of 2015. The F-15 line has orders with Singapore and Saudi Arabia that will keep eagles coming off until the end of 2019.
When put in retrospect, that is not a lot of time. With budgets in North America/Europe becoming nearly non-existent for defense contracts, Central America, Asia, and the Middle East are now crucial in order to keep talent, jobs, and money flowing for manufacturers. This year, two major contracts are at stake. One is for 36 F/A-18 Super Hornet’s for Brazil, while the other calls for 60 F-15 Silent Eagle aircraft for South Korea. Winning both of these contracts alone would give another year to the Hornet family and another two years for the Eagle nest (2016, 2021). In addition, it would make the airframe price fall for other potential buyers.
The only thing is, the above two contests are the last two major one’s for export orders. From 2013 onward, the majority of contracts would be for small buys that would call for a reduction in fighter production and possibly layoff’s for manufacturers across the board. On Boeing’s side they see potential in Denmark and Malaysia for the F-18, and the UAE for the Silent Eagle. Although Boeing is not sure on a fourth MYP contract from the USN, they are confident that more EA-18G growlers will be needed past 2015.
The F-35 program is also a big contender for Boeing, as some countries (and even the USN) have become more than worried about the benefit for price they are getting. The South Korean contract alone will have to test the F-35 via Simulator because the testing program is still behind schedule, making all test aircraft unavailable for flying. This is not to say Boeing is on greater footing, as the Silent Eagle does not technically exist, although the technology presented can be simulated better because of recently acquired F-15K’s/Boeing demonstrator. As for Brazil’s F/X-II competition, it seems to be entirely based on politics. With strong governmental support and newly created partnerships with Brazilian company’s Embraer and Elbit Systems, it comes across as a strong contender.
The next few years will be very telling for Boeing’s fast jet industry, although full confidence exists in the final product, one has to look at both sides of the glass for the potential outcome.
Boeing has been pushing extremely hard for a contract with Brazil. After partnering with Elbit systems (a Brazilian company), continuous political lobbying, and freezing the price of the Super Hornet from two years ago, the company is now “highly confident” that it will win the six million dollar bid.
A recent decision to cancel a USAF contract from Brazilian contractor Embraer to supply Super Tucano aircraft has said to cause a lean away from buying an American product. Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff will be visiting with U.S. president Barack Obama soon, where talks for purchasing the aircraft will be in the forefront.
Winning this contract is crucial to Boeing in opening the doors for future export orders for the F/A-18. In addition the country could end up buying over sixty airframes over the next decade, keeping production rates down for future orders from the USN and RAAF. Malaysia and the United Kingdom are also discussing the idea of buying the aircraft in the future.
A decision is expected to be made in June.
Update: Now we can add this to the list!
Boeing has just announced that the MYP II Navy contract, which began in 2007, has been completed ahead of schedule. They delivered a total of 257 F/A-18 Super Hornet/EA-18G Growler airframes over the course of five years, each one delivered ahead of schedule.
The company has now begun the MYP III contract which was signed in 2010, originally calling for 66 F/A-18 Super Hornet’s and 58 EA-18G Growler’s to be delivered through mid 2015. However, last month the U.S. Navy announced that an additional 15 Super Hornet’s would be added onto the contract for a total of 139 airframes.
The men and women of Boeing have so far have delivered over 500 F/A-18 Super Hornet’s to the U.S. Navy the RAAF. Potential foreign orders remain strong for country’s like Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.
Boeing is putting in a major stride to win over Brazil:
Boeing is offering to sell its F-18 fighter to Brazil for the same price per plane as its previous offer during a round of bidding in 2009, the sources said…
The contract is for 32 airframes, along with the potential to order up to 70 in the long term. The final winner is set to be declared before the end of the year.
Read more here.
Although it seems like only a few months ago we were celebrating the new year, its already time to put a close on 2011. Let’s take a look at some of the highs and lows of Boeing’s fast-jet industry this year…
And the blows…
2012 could very well be the launch year for the F-15 Silent Eagle, if South Korea chooses it for it’s next generation fighter. The decision point is expected in November.
The Super Hornet could have a strong year of sales if Brazil confirms their forty aircraft order, and Australia orders another eighteen airframes. This would extend the production line for an additional eighteen months, or until mid 2017.
New developments in country’s such as Denmark, Greece, Singapore, Chile, and the UAE may also spell good new’s for Boeing’s fast jet industry.
When it comes down to it, Boeing has had an amazing year in the commercial business, and stagnated progress in the defense industry. What will the year 2012 bring? With cheaper yet strong offerings like the Silent Eagle and Block III Super Hornet; only time will tell.
It has just been announced that Japan has decided on the F-35 stealth fighter as it’s 42 aircraft replacement to it’s F-4 phantoms. The main reason being the technology they could get from the aircraft; making it easier for them to develop their own “fifth” generation fighter.
First India in the summer. Now Japan. Not a good year for export sales.
Brazil is currently considering the Super Hornet along with Australia for an additional order of eighteen aircraft. The production line is currently set through the year 2015.
Boeing will embark on a short but rather large marketing campaign in Brazil this week. The campaign will include showing a modified F/A-18 Super Hornet (Block II) flight simulator to both the government and general public of Brazil. The general public will be able to fly the simulator as well as get general information on the aircraft’s capability’s.
In addition, Boeing will host a question and answer session with the National Defense Committee of the Brazilian Senate about the aircraft and how it will benefit both the nation’s defense and public industry.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet Block II is currently one of the finalists for the new fighter contract in Brazil.
Boeing still has until 2014 to achieve additional contracts for it’s F/A-18 Super Hornet production line. Hopefully things will improve.
Boeing today conducted an industry forum in São José dos Campos to share with local businesses and universities the broad spectrum of opportunities available to them as part of Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet offering in the F-X2 fighter aircraft competition. “Boeing will provide the Brazilian Air Force with the most advanced combat aircraft to meet its operational requirements, as well as a broad array of benefits to Brazilian industry,” said Tom DeWald, Boeing Super Hornet campaign leader in Brazil. “As the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing is well positioned to deliver an industrial partnership program through robust technology transfer, research and development, and competitive work placement opportunities with Boeing and our extended network of suppliers.” More than 100 representatives of companies, universities and industry associations joined government officials from São José dos Campos and the surrounding region at the Boeing Industry Day, which was hosted by São José dos Campos Technology Park. “Today’s forum supports our goals to foster technological innovation, revitalize local and regional economies, improve industrial competitiveness and create new jobs,” said Jose de Mello Correa, São José dos Campos secretary of Economic Development and Science & Technology. “Conferences such as this give industry, universities and research institutions a better look at what Boeing can bring to Brazil.” Boeing has an unmatched reputation for delivering world-class industrial partnership programs that have brought benefits valued at more than $41 billion to nearly 40 countries over the past 30 years.
Boeing today conducted an industry forum in São José dos Campos to share with local businesses and universities the broad spectrum of opportunities available to them as part of Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet offering in the F-X2 fighter aircraft competition.
“Boeing will provide the Brazilian Air Force with the most advanced combat aircraft to meet its operational requirements, as well as a broad array of benefits to Brazilian industry,” said Tom DeWald, Boeing Super Hornet campaign leader in Brazil. “As the world’s largest aerospace company, Boeing is well positioned to deliver an industrial partnership program through robust technology transfer, research and development, and competitive work placement opportunities with Boeing and our extended network of suppliers.”
More than 100 representatives of companies, universities and industry associations joined government officials from São José dos Campos and the surrounding region at the Boeing Industry Day, which was hosted by São José dos Campos Technology Park.
“Today’s forum supports our goals to foster technological innovation, revitalize local and regional economies, improve industrial competitiveness and create new jobs,” said Jose de Mello Correa, São José dos Campos secretary of Economic Development and Science & Technology. “Conferences such as this give industry, universities and research institutions a better look at what Boeing can bring to Brazil.”
Boeing has an unmatched reputation for delivering world-class industrial partnership programs that have brought benefits valued at more than $41 billion to nearly 40 countries over the past 30 years.