“We are considering enhancing our participation level in shows in other regions, including Australia and the Middle East,” Belote said.
Aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said Northrop’s decision to skip the Paris air show reflected the fact that the company no longer builds major weapons platforms like the B-2 bomber, and he did not expect other big U.S. firms to follow its lead.
“Northrop is extremely determined to get a low cost profile, but anyone who is in the platform business has to get serious about increasing exports, and major air shows are still a big part of that,” he said.
Paris and London alternate hosting a huge air show each year, an event billed as the largest of the international events of this type. This year’s show at the Le Bourget airport outside Paris, which is scheduled for mid-June, will be the 50th held there.
Northrop had a large presence at the Paris air show in 2011, one of 2,113 exhibitors from 45 countries, according to the air show’s website.
Lockheed Martin Corp has also scaled back its spending on air shows in recent years, reducing the number of executives it sends and relying more on local employees. But the No. 1 Pentagon supplier still plans to participate in the Paris show this year, said spokeswoman Jennifer Whitlow.
“We continue to look for ways to reduce our costs, but we do think the air show is an important opportunity to talk with our customers about their national security needs,” she said.