Northrop Grumman has been awarded a $3.2 billion multi-year contract by Boeing to continue its production work on the F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft, the US Navy’s frontline carrier-based strike fighter.
As the principal F/A-18 subcontractor to Boeing, Northrop Grumman produces the centre/aft fuselage and twin vertical tails and integrates all associated subsystems at its El Segundo facility. The company delivers these fuselage shipsets to Boeing’s Integrated Defense Systems facility in St. Louis for final assembly.
This is Northrop Grumman’s second multi-year production contract for the Super Hornet program. It covers procurement of 210 shipsets at the rate of 42 during each of the fiscal years between 2005 and 2009. Additionally, the contract provides the flexibility for the Navy to increase that quantity by as many as six per year. Deliveries will begin in 2006.
Of the 210 shipsets being produced, 56 are earmarked for the EA-18G, an electronic-attack variant of the F/A-18 that is expected to begin replacing the Navy’s EA-6B Prowler aircraft by the end of the decade.
Northrop Grumman is also principal subcontractor for the EA-18G and, under a separate contract, is the airborne electronic-attack system integrator. In March 2005, Northrop Grumman delivered the first centre/aft fuselage section for the EA-18G.