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Navy F/A-18E/F and EA-18G Aircraft Procurement and Strike Fighter Shortfall: Background and Issues for Congress

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Congressional rept.

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The Navy has been procuring FA-18EF Super Hornet strike fighters since FY1997. Super Hornets and older FA-19ABCD Hornets currently account for the majority of the aircraft in the Navys 10 active-duty aircraft carrier air wings CVWs -- of the 70 or so aircraft in each CVW, more than 40 typically are Hornets and Super Hornets. The Navy in FY2006 also began procuring the EA-18G Growler, an electronic warfare version of the Super Hornet. Growlers are replacing older Navy and Marine Corps EA-6B Prowler electronic attack aircraft. Super Hornets and Growlers were procured in FY2005-FY2009 under a multiyear procurement MYP arrangement. The Navys proposed FY2010 budget requests about 1.0 billion for the procurement of 9 FA-18EFs. The Navys FY2009 budget had projected that 18 FA-18EFs would be requested in FY2010. The Navy has testified that it is planning a total procurement of 506 FA-18EFs, with the final 57 aircraft to be procured in FY2010-2012. The Navys proposed FY2010 budget also requests about 1.6 billion for the procurement of 22 EA-18Gs. The Navys proposed FY2010 budget does not request a third MYP arrangement for procuring FA-18EFs and EA-18Gs in FY2010-FY2014. The Navys FY2010 request for 9 FA-18EFs comes in the context of a projected shortfall in Navy and Marine Corps strike fighters. Estimates of the extent of the shortfall vary, with the peak of the shortfall ranging from 125 aircraft by one estimate to 243 or more aircraft according to other estimates. Some Members of Congress are interested in the option of procuring 18 FA-18EFs in FY2010 the number projected for FY2010 under the FY2009 budget, rather than 9 the number requested in the FY2010 budget, so as to make a start toward mitigating the projected strike fighter shortfall. Some Members of Congress are also interested in approving a new MYP arrangement for procuring Super Hornets and Growlers in FY2010-FY2014, so as to further mitigate the shortfall.

Subject Categories:

  • Attack and Fighter Aircraft
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies

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