U.S. Navy says still eyeing possible Boeing F/A-18 funding request

Reuters News
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Posted: Feb 26, 2015 1:21 PM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Top U.S. Navy officials on Thursday said they were looking at requesting some Boeing Co F/A-18 fighter jets as part of an "unfunded priorities" list to be sent to Congress, as well as starting to ask the company to refurbish existing jets.

Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert told reporters after a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee's subcommittee on defense, that the Navy was weighing "a host" of possible items for the wish lists that help guide lawmakers as they decide whether to add items to the Pentagon's base budget.

He said he had not yet discussed any specific items with Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, but the Navy faced possible fighter jet shortfalls in the 2020s, when older model F/A-18s will be retired.

Mabus said the Navy was working with Boeing to set the pace of production of 15 EA-18G electronic attack jets added to the fiscal 2015 budget by Congress, mindful that those orders would only extend the production line through 2017.

He said Boeing was also continuing to look at possible foreign orders for the jets, which could keep the line going longer.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by David Gregorio)