US aerospace and defense giant Boeing announced on January 12 it is expanding its industrial partnership strategy in Germany in a bid to secure a contract to deliver its F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler aircraft as part of Germany’s Tornado replacement effort.
The company said it released a request for information (RFI) to more than 10 German companies to solicit bids to “play a significant role in providing support equipment, logistics and overall maintenance, parts, local sustainment programs, training, and other relevant repair and overhaul solutions for Germany’s potential Super Hornet and Growler fleet.”
What is more, Boeing also said the German industry would have the opportunity to participate in the development of the Next Generation Jammer for the EA-18G Growler.
The RFIs are the first step towards in-country sustainment worth approximately $4 billion USD/ €3.5 billion over the lifecycle of the programs, and will contribute additional economic opportunity and value to the German economy, the company added.
“Germany is home to outstanding aerospace expertise and innovation and we look forward to expanding our partnerships locally for Germany’s F/A-18 Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler fleet,” said Dr. Michael Haidinger, president of Boeing Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, Benelux and the Nordics. “With this partner expansion strategy, we are laying the foundation for new business opportunities for German industry champions, high-skilled new jobs and long-term economic growth.”
Boeing announced the RFI several days after reports emerged that Germany plans to reevaluate its decision to buy the Super Hornets and assess the option of buying a combination of the more modern F-35 fifth-generation fighter and Eurofighters instead.
Germany is currently in the process of finding a successor for its Tornado fleet, which has been providing Germany with both electronic attack and B61 tactical nuclear weapon delivery capability since the 1980s.
The German Air Force intends to keep its remaining 85 Tornado aircraft in service by 2030 through a life-extension program. The country originally received a total of 357 airframes.
Boeing said the F/A-18 Super Hornet Block III it offers to Germany provides advanced, proven capabilities, as well as low life-cycle and acquisition costs ideally suited to meet Germany’s fighter requirements, including the dual capable commitments to NATO.