He said BAE was focused on helping the Army and other military services get more mileage out of the weapons they already had, while also working to reduce its own costs by consolidating facilities and laying off workers.
Donnelly said budget uncertainty and Congress’ failure to pass a budget for the 2013 fiscal year that began on Oct. 1 were delaying his company’s negotiations with the Navy for a second multiyear purchase of V-22 tiltrotor aircraft built by Textron’s Bell Helicopter and Boeing.
He told analysts last week that Textron might not sign that deal until the first or second quarter, which meant the orders would not be booked in the fourth quarter, as they had in the past.
Donnelly said Oct. 22 the company was continuing to work for foreign sales of the V-22 Osprey and the process was “moving along well.” Those orders, however, would not be sufficient to compensate for the expected decline in U.S. orders, he said.
Bell-Boeing is currently building nearly 40 of the aircraft each year, but military budget cuts will slow that rate to the low-20s, he said, adding that foreign sales could add five to six orders a year once they kicked in after 2014.
He said fiscal cliff concerns were also dampening demand from companies for business jets built by Textron’s Cessna unit.
David Liddle, a spokesman for the trade show AUSA, the independent, non-profit group that puts it on each year, said he did not have exact figures, but attendance on the first full day appeared strong despite predictions of sharply lower turnout.
He said the number of exhibitors was down just over 5% to 671 from 708 last year. The number of government exhibits dropped sharply, to just 17 from 96 a year ago, but industry exhibits rose slightly.