The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing a $251.9 million, two-year contract to fund a new program designed to manage and improve logistics system performance affordably. The F/A-18E/F Integrated Readiness Support Teaming (FIRST) program is a unique U.S. Navy-industry partnership aimed at improving readiness and lowering support costs for the nation's newest strike fighter, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. The contract contains options which, if exercised, will bring the cumulative value of this contract to a potential value of $770 million.
Under the contract Boeing will provide full logistics support of approximately 850 components unique to F/A-18E/F aircraft.
"FIRST is an innovative solution designed to provide affordable support for operational squadrons," said Tony Parasida, Boeing vice president for the F/A-18 program. "FIRST builds on the highly successful government-industry partnership that began between the U.S. Navy and Boeing when they pioneered the Integrated Test Team concept during the engineering and manufacturing development phase of the Super Hornet program."
By leveraging the strengths of the U.S. Navy, applying commercial practices whenever possible, and using streamlined procurement processes and acquisition strategies that give contractors increased flexibility, FIRST will provide an improved logistics support capability to meet the readiness goals of operational Super Hornet squadrons.
The Boeing-led Hornet Industry Team and the U.S. Navy expect to generate significant operating and support cost avoidance through effective supply chain management, proactive in-service engineering, sustained reliability improvement, integrated information systems, and the use of an integrated network of suppliers.
The integrated supply chain acts as a single company, sharing design and performance information, and linking information-management and decision-making processes. The result is an agile, streamlined support system designed to reduce logistics cycle time, manage parts obsolescence and significantly lower cost.
An industry team led by Boeing builds the Super Hornet. Boeing builds the forward fuselage and wings, and conducts final assembly. Northrop Grumman Corp. is the principal airframe subcontractor, supplying the center and aft fuselage. General Electric Co. produces the F414 engines, and Raytheon Co. builds the APG-73 radar.