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Boeing thinks the EA-18 Growler is the most likely version to be purchased by the US

One of the staples U.S. Navy for a number of years has been the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet fighter. However, reports indicate that the new U.S. defense budget that is set to be unveiled next month has no allowance for purchasing new versions of the fighter.
New purchases of the electronic attack version called the EA-18G Growler are also nonexistent. Some in Washington want to continue to purchase the aircraft with a $75 million defense appropriations bill that would call for the purchase of 22 new aircraft. Boeing, the maker of the Super Hornet, also wants the military to purchase more EA-18G aircraft.

The Hornet has been around since the 1970's and replaced the F-14 Tomcat and A-6 Prowler. When the last orders are completed, the Navy will have 563 Super Hornets and 138 Growlers. The current orders will have production of the aircraft continuing through 2016.
Boeing says that 90,000 full time jobs around the country are dependent on Super Hornet production, and the company is currently shopping the jet to foreign nations now. Boeing had hoped to court Brazil with the purchase of 36 Super Hornets, but concerns over the NSA’s spying program led the Latin American country into the arms of Sweden and its Saab JAS-39 Gripen NG.
The existing Super Hornets will be supplemented by the troubled (and expensive) F-35 Lightning II for U.S. Navy duties.

Source: Defense News

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RE: Great Jet
By eldakka on 2/18/2014 5:34:29 PM , Rating: 2
I've always thought the whole argument of two engines being superior to one a flawed one

In the earlier days of jet engines, reliability was suspect.

Therefore aircraft that were intended to fly over vast swathes of wilderness where there are no nearby emergency landing areas (e.g ocean, tractless un/sparsely inhabited areas such as most of Australia, Siberia, northern Canada etc) tended to require a second engine with the aircraft fully capable of flying on one engine. It is not really 'more difficult' to fly an aircraft when one engine fails as they are designed to be capable of flight on one engine. Especially fighter aircraft that have side-by-side rear engines, not a lot of difference in the center of thrust as compared to say an aircraft with wing-mounted engines. Performance obviously suffers (speed, payload, agility), but thats about it.

In the last 30 years engine reliability has grown such that the chance of an engine failing mechanically is incredibly small, therefore the 2nd engine requirement has become less (tho not un) important. Of course, military aircraft have more to worry about than standard mechanical failure, such as battle damage, therefore twin-engined combat aircraft are still often preferable for the redundancy.

But yes, it is a tradeoff, 2 engines = more weight, more maintenance, more cost, than a single engine but greater battle damage resilience.

It's a cost thing, thats why the F-22 has 2 engines, but the 'cheaper workhorse' F-35 has one. Most of the air-to-air opposition is supposed to be eliminated by the F-22 before the F-35 gets anywhere near the area. So cost efficiency is a more important factor for the F-35 which is, to be honest, mostly designed as a bomb-truck, vs the F-22.

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