Boeing Integrated Defence Systems briefed journalists on July 31 in New Delhi, where Boeing India President Dr Ian QR Thomas and Vice President and General Manager Integrated Defence Systems Chris Chadwick both said that the F/A-18 Super Hornet was "cheaper than the F-35 Lightning-II and that the USN has no intention of phasing the Super Hornet out". This is presumably what they'll be telling the government and IAF as well. It was also revealed at the briefing that Boeing had made modifications to the Super Hornet to drag down the unit cost of the aircraft from $82 million to $49.9 million.
This actually illustrates how hard the MRCA deal is being fought. Boeing is a partner on the JSF programme and manufactures the wings, aft fuselage, integrates the avionics and all of the pilot and maintenance training systems, so why, in it's right mind, would it not think LM's pitch of the JSF was beneficial to both companies? The F-35C variant is admittedly a replacement to the legacy Hornet and more advanced Super Hornet. Well I guess it would just look lame agreeing with your biggest rival. If you ask me, it looks sort of silly either way. Why in hell would we need the JSF when we've apparently jumping head-long into our own fifth generation fighter programme, either independently or with the Russians (PAK-FA). And on the other hand, from which angle does the Super Hornet fit a fifth generation requirement? I ask you.
Labels: AIR FORCE, Aircraft And Helicopters, DEFENCE PROCUREMENTS, UNITED STATES-RELATED