Aside from the on-going US defense drawdown and looming concern over America's ballooning national debt, Boeing cites escalating energy costs, the shrinkage of the force structure and industrial base health issues as longer term risks for the company's defense arm. Speaking at the Boeing Investors Conference, Boeig Defense, Space and Security President Dennis Muilenburg says that near terms concerns are focused on the ground-based midcourse defense (GMD) missile program, currently being re-bid, as well as the troubled Brigade Combat Team Modernization Increment 1 effort. In addition, the dwindling backlog for the C-17 remains a near term concern, though he adds "we think there are added opportunities beyond 2013."
In terms of troubled programs that have dogged the company in recent year, such as the Australian Wedgetail and international tanker, Muilenburg says "we can clearly see the finish line." The 737 AEW&C is entering service with the RAAF and two of the four delayed KC-767 tankers have now been delivered to Italy, he adds.
As far as missed opportunities such as the recent loss with the F/A-18 in India, Muilenburg says "we still haven't had the debrief." However, he says "we see India as a long term business investment and as a long term partner," adding that pending C-17 and rotorcraft deals will strengthen this. In Japan, he adds that the destruction of training aircraft in the recent tsunami, has accelerated procurement plans and Boeing is confident of gaining business in the region in the near term.