Boeing continues international market push
The cuts to the US defence budget mean that Boeing's defence business is now getting a quarter of its sales from the international market.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Dennis Muilenburg, the head of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, told reporters that 24% of the company's revenues in 2011 was non-US. As total revenue remained flat this indicates a drop in US business that is being made up by increased international sales.
Muilenburg said that long-term the company was targeting international sales to be between 25-30%. As budgets in Europe are also being cut Boeing is targeting growth in its business in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.
In Asia the company sees a number of good opportunities. There is continued interest in Boeing's fighter offerings despite reversals in India and Japan. The company is in the process of delivering new fighters to the Singapore Armed Forces and is pitching its F-15 Silent Eagle for a South Korean requirement.
Muilenburg said there was also a lot of interest in Boeing's rotary portfolio. A number of countries in the region operate the Apache attack helicopter and Taiwan will be one of the first to take delivery of the new Apache Block III. Muilenburg added that there was also strong interest in the Chinook and that there was potential in the region for the AH-6i.
On the transport and tanker front Muilenburg said that India had expressed interest in procuring up to a further eight C-17 strategic transport aircraft on top of a firm order for ten. Currently Boeing has enough aircraft on order to keep the C-17 line open through the third quarter of 2014 having down-shifted the production rate from 15 to 10 aircraft a year. Muilenburg said that he hoped the company would get enough new orders to extend the line by between two and three years.
On the tanker front the company expects there will be interest in Asia for the KC-46 which it is developing for the US Air Force (USAF). Singapore is among the countries looking to recapitalise their tanker fleets.
Muilenburg stated that the KC-46 programme was currently on schedule and cost having recently finished its preliminary design review. He added that the critical design review would be completed next year and that the company would be able to deliver 18 aircraft to the USAF by 2017.
Source: By Darren Lake in Singapore / the Shephard News Team - 01 June 2012
Photo: The Singapore Air Force Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle (Photo by Boeing)