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 LANGKAWI, Malaysia, Dec. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The governments of Malaysia and the United States today signed a foreign military sales agreement for Malaysia to purchase eight McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet strike fighters. The agreement includes the aircraft plus ancillary equipment, support equipment, spares, training of air and ground crews, and maintenance training devices.
 Signing of the letter of offer and acceptance took place during a ceremony at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace exposition here. Under the agreement, McDonnell Douglas will deliver the Malaysian Hornets to the U.S. Navy starting in October 1996. The Navy, in turn, will deliver the aircraft to the Royal Malaysian Air Force.
 John McDonnell, chairman and chief executive officer of McDonnell Douglas, attended the signing in Langkawi. He said, "We are very pleased that the letter of offer and acceptance between the Malaysian and U.S. governments for the F/A-18 Hornets has been signed. This allows us to continue moving forward with an aerospace program that will be mutually beneficial to the U.S. and Malaysia as part of a long- lasting relationship involving McDonnell Douglas."
 Malaysian government officials and McDonnell Douglas executives had previously signed an industrial cooperation agreement Oct. 28 that will further develop the Malaysian aerospace industry.
 Malaysia is the first nation in Southeast Asia to purchase the F/A-18. Singapore has recently expressed interest in the aircraft and has been provided with information on the Hornet. U.S. Navy and McDonnell Douglas officials are scheduled to provide additional information in the near future.
 Manufacture and delivery of the eight F/A-18s for Malaysia will take place at McDonnell Douglas' plant in St. Louis. McDonnell Douglas also will provide a logistical package to support F/A-18 operations at a base in Malaysia.
 The F/A-18s for Malaysia will be equipped with the latest technologies being incorporated into the aircraft, including the upgraded Hughes APG-73 radar and twin General Electric F404-GE-402 Enhanced Performance Engines.
 Malaysia announced June 29 that it would order eight F/A-18Ds as part of a program to modernize its air force. Also competing were the Lockheed F-16 and the Dassault Mirage 2000-5.
 The Malaysian F/A-18 agreement follows selection of the F/A-18 Hornet by Finland, Switzerland and Kuwait in recent competitions involving the F-16, Mirage 2000-5, and other aircraft. Kuwait recently accepted its 40th F/A-18, while Finland has ordered 64 Hornets and Switzerland has ordered 34 Hornets.
 "These decisions continue to show that the F/A-18 Hornet is the international fighter of choice," McDonnell said.
 McDonnell Douglas has delivered more than 1,200 F/A-18s worldwide since the aircraft's first flight in November 1978. Since that time, the Hornet has logged more than 2 million flight hours with the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps as well as the air forces of Canada, Australia, Spain, and Kuwait.
 The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have more than 875 Hornets and operate 40 tactical F/A-18 squadrons from 12 aircraft carriers and 25 air stations. The Navy stands solidly behind the F/A-18 program, calling the Hornet its highest warfighting priority, and plans to continue buying Hornets through 2015 as the heart of its carrier air wings.
 Employees at more than 2,000 U.S. companies in 43 states help produce this top-of-the-line combat aircraft. Prime contractor McDonnell Douglas performs final assembly of the Hornet in St. Louis. Principal subcontractors are Northrop, which builds the center and aft fuselage, engine manufacturer General Electric, Hughes Aircraft, which supplies the radar, and Loral, which supplies advanced electronic equipment.
 -0- 12/9/93
 /CONTACT: Lee J. Whitney of McDonnell Douglas Aerospace, 314-234-0685; or James R. Reed of McDonnell Douglas Corp., 60-4-709-101 (in Malaysia)/

CO: McDonnell Douglas Aerospace; McDonnell Douglas Corp. ST: Missouri IN: ARO SU:

JL-LS -- LA032 -- 2004 12/08/93 22:38 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 8, 1993

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