Brett Blume (@brettblumekmox)By Brett Blume

ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The Boeing plant will play host to a VIP later this morning.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois will tour the Boeing facility and urge Congress to find the funding needed to support the EA-18G Growler attack fighter program.

He believes the Growler program is key to the Pentagon’s goal of enhancing the Navy’s airborne electronic attack capabilities.

The Navy is asking Congress to approve more than $2 billion so it can buy enough of the planes to add the Growlers to each five-man squadron on its aircraft carriers.

That works out to a total of 22 more planes.

Critics say further spending on the Growler could cut into the number of Lockheed-Martin-produced F-35’s that the Navy is also seeking to purchase.

For its part, Boeing is hoping to avoid the shutdown of the Growler assembly line, currently scheduled for late 2016.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)




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