Boeing unveils new Hazelwood-made fighter, projects strong demand

The Royal Australia Air Force’s first Boeing EA-18G Growler demonstrates capabilities in its first flight demonstration. | Courtesy of Boeing
The Royal Australia Air Force will use Boeing’s new EA-18G Growler. | Courtesy of Boeing

Boeing Co. on Wednesday unveiled the first of its new EA-18G Growlers that are bound for the Australian Air Force, and a top company official said odds are good that the line in St. Louis County producing that plane and the F/A-18 Super Hornet will keep running for years to come.

Dan Gillian, Boeing’s vice president for fighter programs, said the company foresees strong demand for the fighter planes. Even though the company’s Hazelwood-based Defense, Space & Security unit is halving production to two planes per month from four, employees won’t be laid off, Gillian said.

The company said it currently has orders to keep the line running through 2017, and it anticipates new orders that will extend that timetable until 2019. Thousands of jobs hinge on the Boeing line remaining operational, as do the fortunes of 612 Boeing suppliers in the St. Louis area.

Read more from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the St. Louis Business Journal

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