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Boeing F/A-18 is among options being looked at by Bulgarians

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  • Boeing F/A-18 is among options being looked at by Bulgarians

    By Tim McLaughlin
    Tuesday, Mar. 21 2006

    Boeing Co.'s St. Louis-made F/A-18 Super Hornet figured largely in a recent
    offer by the U.S. government to supply American-made fighter jets to Bulgaria.

    One option would provide the former Soviet bloc country with 16 new Super
    Hornets in a deal that could approach $1 billion. To date, Super Hornets, a
    staple of the U.S. Navy, have not been sold to international customers.
    Bulgaria, which joined NATO in 2004, is among several countries interested in
    buying the plane.

    Earlier this month, the Navy delivered pricing on three fighter jet options to
    the Bulgarians, a Boeing spokeswoman confirmed. One package would include 16
    new Super Hornets, which cost about $54 million each, and 12 used F-5s made by
    Northrop Grumman Corp.

    A second package would include 12 used Super Hornets and 12 used F-5s. The
    third option would include 12 used Super Hornets, Boeing spokeswoman Patricia
    Frost said.

    Over the next eight months, Bulgaria will weigh the Super Hornet options and
    evaluate other packages from rival airplane manufacturers. Boeing's competition
    is expected to include Lockheed Martin Corp.'s F-16, the Eurofighter and
    Dassault Aviation SA's Rafael jet. Last year, Boeing's F-15 beat the Rafael in
    a competition to supply fighters to Singapore.

    First delivery of the combat planes selected by Bulgaria is expected to happen
    by 2010. The U.S. government will handle any negotiations concerning
    American-made planes.

    Slightly larger than Tennessee, Bulgaria is expected to use the jets to patrol
    the Black Sea region. The country is making plans to upgrade its fleet of
    Russian-made combat planes.

    The Super Hornet also is being considered by Malaysia, India, Japan and
    Switzerland, Frost said.

    The first production model of the Super Hornet was delivered to the Navy in
    1998. The Navy plans to buy a minimum of 460 of the planes through 2012.

  • #2
    Cant go wrong if they order the Super hornet, great aircraft.