Kronenberg: The customer has spoken. We respect the decision of the customer. We are obviously disappointed. We thought F-18s would be great. I spent a lot of time all over. We think we have some great prospects in the Middle East for the F-18s. Quite frankly, as the F-35s continue to slip, the Australians moved out their 30 buyers. I think we’ve got some opportunities among F-35 partners. As it slips, customers said we have the requirements right now instead of F-18s. We feel very good about where we are on the F-18s. I think this customer made a decision to go with the Rafale and Dassault. We wish them luck!
AW&ST: What about offsets?
Kronenberg: I think we are [going] in the right direction. Offsets were new to India. Think about 2006 when they had an [earlier] offset policy. [The Indian ministry of defense has] been open to our suggestions and recommendations. When I say open, it is not just Boeing, but also American companies and European companies. The ministry of defense has been open to our suggestions. I think this is great, that will enable us to work more effectively with Indian suppliers. I think that’s the way it has got to be seen. Sometimes people use it as a binary thing. We see it as a success for the Indian industry, a success for us.
AW&ST: Are you meeting some Indian suppliers?
Kronenberg: Yes, we are in touch with basic customers just to reaffirm Boeing is committed to India for a long term. We have been saying that for years – we mean it. We are very happy about the prospects next year and these deliveries. We continue to work with Indian suppliers and try to get Indian suppliers into larger supply chains. Quite frankly, I have said this with other offset customers that, eventually, I want you to go with more offsets. This is not just with India but also Saudi Arabia because what you really want is for the Indian suppliers to say we are winning work from Boeing, we are winning work from the EADS, we are just winning work. That’s really when you measure the success of an industrial participation program. We have examples where it is not just about winning offsets requirements but working with Boeing is so good. That’s a success story.