Navy Wants More St. Louis-Made Jets

Signage on Boeing headquarters | Courtesy of Boeing
Courtesy of Boeing

The Navy now says it wants 22 new St. Louis-made Growlers, an electronic attack jet that supports flights of the Super Hornet fighter jet. At stake are thousands of St. Louis jobs, which could disappear after 2016 when the last F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter is scheduled to roll off the Boeing assembly line in north St. Louis County.

The Navy put 22 new EA-18G Growlers on its “unfunded” priority list for this year. The Navy submitted that wish list at the request of Congress. The planes are not in the Defense Department’s formal appropriations request.

The request comes against the backdrop of delays affecting Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter, the planned replacement for the Super Hornet, which relies on its own stealth technology for protection. Missouri’s U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler, an Armed Services Committee member, proposed an amendment to build the 22 Growlers at a cost of $1.6 billion, but it was unclear how much support it has.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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