San Antonio stands to gain roughly 500 new jobs as defense contractor Boeing ramps up work on the U.S. Navy’s Super Hornet fighter jets.
Officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony August 26 at Port San Antonio to formally kick off Boeing’s $164 million contract for modernizing the Navy’s fleet of Super Hornets. The one-year federal contract includes an option for a one-year extension.
To handle the new contract, Boeing is hiring workers like mechanics, engineers, and inventory managers.
At Port San Antonio, Boeing workers will upgrade 23 Super Hornets over the course of the contract, including two jets that arrived in June. The project is aimed at enabling a Super Hornet to log 10,000 flight hours, up from the current 6,000 flight hours. This will extend the life of a Super Hornet by about 10 years.
The Navy’s fleet of Super Hornets (also known as F/A-18 jets) contains more than 550 aircraft. Upgrades are being done at Boeing’s San Antonio and St. Louis facilities, although the bulk of the Super Hornet work will be completed in the Alamo City, according to Jay Galloway, leader of Boeing’s San Antonio site.
Beyond the current contract, officials expect the Navy to tap the San Antonio site to help modernize the entire Super Hornet fleet.
“It’ll take about 10 years to work [on] all the airplanes. We anticipate about 400 to 500 Super Hornets rolling through [San Antonio],” Galloway told San Antonio TV station KSAT.
Boeing already employs about 1,200 people at Port San Antonio, a 1,900-acre business park with more than 80 employers and a total workforce of more than 13,000 people. Port San Antonio is at the former Kelly Air Force Base.
Boeing’s San Antonio facility is one of the world’s largest maintenance, repair, and overhaul hubs for military aircraft. The Chicago-based company established the site in 1998.