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FIRST THREE McDONNELL DOUGLAS 40 F/A-18 HORNET FIGHTERS ARRIVE IN KUWAIT

FIRST THREE McDONNELL DOUGLAS 40 F/A-18 HORNET FIGHTERS ARRIVE IN KUWAIT
 ST. LOUIS, Jan. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The first three of 40 F/A-18 Hornet fighters Kuwait is buying from the United States have arrived in Kuwait.
 U.S. Navy pilots flew the F/A-18s, built by McDonnell Douglas, from St. Louis to Egypt, where they were met Jan. 24 by Kuwait Air Force pilots. The Kuwaiti pilots then flew the aircraft to the international airport at Kuwait City, where they were greeted at an arrival ceremony Jan. 25.
 A second flight of three F/A-18s is scheduled to be in Kuwait City in time for National Day and Liberation Day celebrations Feb. 25-26. The festivities commemorate the many events that led to the independence of Kuwait as a sovereign state and mark the anniversary of Kuwait's liberation from Iraqi occupation.
 The rest of the 40 F/A-18s will be delivered between now and September 1993.
 Kuwait is purchasing the fighters from the U.S. government under a contract valued at approximately $1.6 billion.
 The start of F/A-18 deliveries into Kuwait represents the first step to restoring the capability of the Kuwait Air Force to provide air defense. The F/A-18s are intended to serve as a front line of defense for Kuwait and as replacements for the Kuwait Air Force's fleet of A-4KU Skyhawk attack aircraft and Mirage F-1 fighters.
 The Kuwait Air Force selected the F/A-18 as its fighter of choice after an extensive flight evaluation in 1988. After Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, the U.S. Navy directed McDonnell Douglas to continue development and production of the Kuwait F/A-18s. The program has stayed on schedule.
 The Kuwait Hornets are the first F/A-18s to go into service with General Electric's new F404-GE-402 Enhanced Performance Engines. These engines, which are in the 17,700-pound thrust class, improve the F/A-18's time-to-climb, supersonic, and low-altitude, high-speed performance. They can generate up to 20 percent more thrust than the previous F404-GE-400 engines.
 The EPE will be the standard powerplant for all production F/A-18s in 1992.
 McDonnell Aircraft Co., a division of McDonnell Douglas (NYSE: MD), manufactures the F/A-18 strike fighter in St. Louis, where about 7,000 people are associated with the program. Principal subcontractors are Northrop Corp. for the aft fuselage, Hughes Aircraft Co. for the radar and GE for the engines. McDonnell Aircraft has produced 1,066 F/A-18s for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps and the air forces of Canada, Australia, Spain and Kuwait.
 -0- 1/27/92
 /CONTACT: Daryl Stephenson of McDonnell Aircraft, 314-232-8203, or 314-234-7019/
 (MD) CO: McDonnell Aircraft Co. ST: California IN: ARO SU:


AL -- LA033 -- 3957 01/27/92 17:46 EST
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Date:Jan 27, 1992
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