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Navy Cancels A-6 Upgrades

September 20, 1993|From Associated Press

SEATTLE — The Navy has canceled a $588 million Boeing Co. contract to replace wings on A-6 Intruder bombers following a study recommending the planes be scrapped instead, a company spokesman said.

Roughly 200 to 400 workers may lose their jobs because of the cancellation notice received Friday, David Suffia of Boeing's defense and space group said.

The Navy contracted Boeing in 1989 to replace metal wings with lighter, stronger composite structures on the aging Grumman-built bombers.

After 179 wing replacements were completed, the Navy ordered 120 more.

Most work on the project was transferred recently from Boeing's plant in Wichita, Kan., to the Seattle area. Suffia said he didn't know if any of the 120 additional wing replacements had been completed.

The Navy will pay Boeing for termination costs and work already completed, but those amounts are not yet determined. Suffia would not estimate how much of the $588 million would be lost.

The cancellation stems from a Pentagon review of costs completed last week. As a result of the study, Navy officials plan to eliminate the A-6 from the fleet in a few years.

The Intruders, many of which are assigned to the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, first flew in 1960. Flown off carriers, the A-6 was the Navy's only all-weather bomber during the Vietnam War.

Other versions of the aircraft are the EA-6B Prowler, used in electronic warfare, and the KA-6D, a refueling tanker.

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