Boeing has lift-off for contracts with US Navy

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Boeing has won contracts worth up to $873m for a variety of system upgrades for some of its fighter planes, and the EA-18G electronic attack planes for the US Navy and allied governments, the US Defense Department announced.

This contract was awarded on an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity basis with work to be completed in December 2018.

It covers a range of possible upgrades for the US Navy and the governments of Australia, Finland, Switzerland, Kuwait, Malaysia, and Canada, which operate the Boeing warplanes.

Boeing also revealed it planned to eliminate up to 1,200 jobs in Washington state and move them to other US locations as it reorganises research and development functions.

The move will reduce Boeing’s reliance on unionised engineers in the Seattle area, and follows other steps Boeing has made to move jobs outside the state this year.

Boeing is also entertaining proposals to place the factory for its newest jetliner, the 777X, outside Washington in part to avoid union conflicts. The $10bn factory will generate an estimated $20bn in economic benefits over the years to the winning state, according to one forecast.

In May, Boeing said it would put design and support centres around the country, reducing those jobs in Washington. In October, it said it is placing significant amounts of engineering design work for the 777X outside Washington state.

On Thursday, Boeing said it plans to create research-and-technology centres at five locations around the country, which will add 300 to 400 jobs at each location.