Defense Market Battles Are Backdrop To Paris

By Bill Sweetman, Amy Butler
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

Boeing's defense-unit cadre will be so small they may be mere houseguests of the massive Boeing Commercial Airplanes show presence. A Boeing official says the defense unit is more focused on air shows in the U.K., as well as Dubai and Singapore.

While other U.S. defense companies have more sharply downsized their footprints at major international events—or eliminated them, like Northrop Grumman at Paris—Raytheon's show presence has been fairly stable. But the electronics giant leads U.S. defense contractors in foreign sales, which accounted for 26% of revenues in 2012. Raytheon will be trumpeting its April win in South Korea with the Racr AESA for locally built KF-16s being upgraded by BAE Systems. At stake is a market forecast of more than 600 F-16 upgrades, with Lockheed Martin still to choose between Racr and Northrop Grumman's rival Sabr for AESA retrofits to U.S. and Taiwanese F-16s.

With governments globally cutting back on defense expenditure, major announcements are not expected at Paris. None of the contenders for the U.S. Air Force's T-38C trainer replacement competition are scheduled to fly, for example. BAE, teamed with Northrop on T-X, will have its Hawk on static display. But Alenia Aermacchi's M-346 will not attend, having been grounded following a crash in May.

With Christina Mackenzie in Paris.

Tap the icon in the digital edition of AW&ST for a video overview of how European A&D companies are finding new business as defense spending declines, or go to AviationWeek.com/video


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