Analysis: Lost Brazil order raises threat to Boeing fighter jets

Brazil’s decision to buy Swedish fighter jets instead of F/A-18 Super Hornets from Boeing eliminates its most promising foreign-sales prospect just as the U.S. company faces critical decisions about extending the jet’s production line past 2016. The loss of the $4.5 billion contract for 36 planes is the latest blow to Boeing’s defense division, whose F-15 fighter jet last month lost a potential 60-plane order from South Korea to Lockheed Martin Corp’s next-generation F-35 fighter. Without new orders, both programs, based in St. Louis, Missouri, could fold in several years, effectively putting Boeing out of the fighter-jet business until a next-generation plane is developed, a decade or more in the future. The closures would follow the shuttering of Boeing’s C-17 military transport plane production, in Long Beach, California, set for 2015, also because of sagging sales.


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