The German chancellor suggests his country could buy Lockheed Martin's newer, stealthier F-35s instead of St. Louis-made Super Hornet. Credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

Germany announced Monday it would buy Lockheed F-35s and upgrade Eurofighters for electronic attack to refresh an aging fleet.

The announcement could be a death knell for Boeing’s effort to sell St. Louis-made Super Hornets and Growlers, their electronic warfare variants, to the Germans.  

Boeing’s best customer, the U.S. Navy, is already looking to curtail new Super Hornet purchases, a move that could leave the line north of Lambert Field without orders after 2024. The company had been banking on Germany, the last foreign customer committed to the planes, to fill the void. 

Now Boeing may have to rely on lifelines from Washington. Last week, Congress approved a long-delayed defense budget directing the Navy to buy 12 more Super Hornets over admirals’ objections. But that’s not expected to provide long-term relief. 

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

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