Boeing still hopes Denmark will buy its Super Hornet jets

Reuters News
|
Posted: May 19, 2016 11:22 AM

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Boeing has challenged the Danish government's recommendation to buy 27 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, questioning data used to suggest its Super Hornet fighter jet was more expensive.

Boeing told a Danish parliamentary committee on Thursday that the recommendation was based on "incomplete and possibly flawed data".

The Danish minority government announced last week its recommendation to buy Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet rather than Boeing's older F/A-18E/F Super Hornet.

"We have asked the Danish Ministry of Defence to reassess its evaluation of the cost. We think their report has made the cost of the Super Hornet 50-100 per cent more expensive than in reality," Boeing vice president Debbie Rub told Reuters.

The ministry report evaluating each fighter jet candidate was based on data estimating that the Super Hornet would have a service life of 6,000 flying hours, while Boeing thinks the right figure for Denmark is 9,500 hours.

The report also compared a one-seater fighter jet F35 to a two-seater rather than a one-seater Super Hornet, Debbie Rub told Reuters.

Danish defense minister Peter Christensen told Danish broadcaster TV2 that Boeing's critique would not change the government's recommendation to buy Lockheed Martin's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The report concluded that the total cost of the F-35 jet is 42.2 billion Danish crowns ($6.4 billion) while the Super Hornet would cost 60.6 billion crowns.

"We were much surprised and puzzled that our aircraft should be more expensive. Of course we hope that the Danish parliament in the end will pick our aircraft," Rub said.

(Reporting by Erik Matzen, Editing by Nikolaj Skydsgaard/Ruth Pitchford)