Procurement: February 15, 2004

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: There's an F-18A fighter being auctioned off on eBay. The FBI and FAA showed up to check this out once the auction became known. Apparently the owner obtained the F-18, which was used by the Navy Blue Angels acrobatic team, and was "disposed of" by the Navy in 1994, legally. Normally, warplanes are not sold to civilians after they are no longer needed. The aircraft are either put into "war reserve" (preserved in a desert "bone yard" for possible future use) or taken apart and the components recycled. Only U.S. citizens can buy the aircraft available on eBay, and bidding started at $1.05 million. Moreover, the aircraft is disassembled. Getting it put back together requires technicians familiar with maintaining F-18s, and a lot of money. It's estimated that it would take about $8 million to get the aircraft back in flying condition. The aircraft was originally purchased by the Navy for $28 million. The Navy did say that surplus warplanes are sometimes donated to museums or communities wanting to display it. The exact circumstances of how this F-18 was disposed of is not yet known. The Navy is looking into the matter.

Check it out at eBay;
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3078059896&category=4672

 


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