Navy’s Rebuff of the Hornet Sends Boeing Straight to Washington
In the wake of the U.S. Navy’s decision not to fund the production of fighter jets from Boeing (NYSE:BA), the aircraft manufacturer is appealing directly to Congress to ensure that its production line in St. Louis, Missouri, remains open. The Navy’s fiscal 2015 annual budget declined to include funding for new F/A-18E/F Super Hornets or EA-18G Growlers, Reuters reports.
Boeing is hoping that the federal government will be able to include funding for the planes when the White House submits its 2015 budget request to Congress on March 4. Sources told Reuters that although the 2015 budget does not include funding for shutting down the F/A-18 production line in St. Louis after 2016, the Navy plans to add such termination funding to its 2016 budget, the news service said.
The Navy funding is crucial to Boeing’s ability to continue producing the jets, so the loss of that contract plays a big role in Boeing’s military aerospace future. Though the Navy is keen on keeping the jets, budget constraints have forced the division to make some cuts.
Reuters further notes that many “defense hawks” in Congress have either died or left, while many current lawmakers are more concerned about deficits than maintaining defense spending.