The US Navy?s fighter woes are boosting Boeing?s bottom line

WASHINGTON ? The U.S. Navy?s ongoing aviation readiness crisis has been a boon for Boeing as the service looks to make its Super Hornet fleet healthy again after years of hard use in the war on terrorism.

Boeing?s Super Hornets are helping push sales of its defense operations business in a positive direction, contributing to a more than 10 percent year-to-date sales growth, according to analysts and company executives speaking on a quarterly earnings call this week.

A total of 46 new Super Hornets ? 18 for the U.S. Navy and 28 for Kuwait ? are leading the way, but the company is also making a lot of money on the Navy?s quest to modernize and extend the life of its workhorse jets. All told, the Navy is planning to modernize all its current jets and buy dozens more in its quest to dig out of a severe readiness hole.