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Sunday October 16, 2005

Boeing to offer Malaysia updated Super Hornets


SEATTLE: The Boeing Company may have to revise its offer to sell the F/A 18F Super Hornets to Malaysia into an updated version of the two-seater fighter jets by the time the country decides to confirm orders. 

Business Development Director for Boeing Integrated Defence Systems’ International Operations for Naval Systems David J. Schweppe said the world’s second-largest defence company was currently upgrading the multi-mission jet into a more advanced F/A 18F Block 2 from its existing form called Block 1. 

Schweppe said during a Boeing Asia Pacific Media tour in St. Louis recently that the upgraded version would have more advanced radar, cockpit, targeting and other avionics system. 

“Malaysia was given a proposal on Block 1. As the programme matures, the offer will likely have to be updated,” he said. 

However, he was unable to say if this would cost more. Boeing has been is discussions with Malaysia to provide a package of the fighter jets and its weapon system in a deal worth around RM5.7bil. 

The package, submitted more than two years ago includes an offset programme.  

“This is a deal that has been on the table for several years,” said Jim Albaugh, president and chief executive officer of Boeing Integrated Defence Systems, in reference to the efforts made by Boeing to come up with an offset programme aimed at making the offer to Malaysia alluring. 

The Super Hornets, currently in service with the US Navy, has yet to register any international sales. 

Apart from Malaysia, Boeing is also trying to market the F/A 18F to several other countries that presently fly the older F/A 18A through F/A 18D.  

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