With defense budgets in remission, the U.S. and Europe are no longer growth markets for the industry. Signs of austerity are also made evident by Northrop Grummam’s decision not to exhibit at this year’s Farnborough air show.
Meanwhile, the battle for deals in the Middle East and Asia is intensifying, as contractors look for growth in new markets. As the spotlight turns to the east, what can we expect at Farnborough?
London wants the Eurofighter Typhoon to be the focus at Farnborough. Although the U.K. is taking delivery of its first F-35B next month, there appears to have been a push out of London to keep JSF on the backburner at Farnborough. The U.K.'s BAE Systems may be a major partner in the JSF program, but the Typhoon, where BAE also is a stakeholder, needs sales more urgently and, it seems, the stage at Farnborough may not be big enough for both fighters.
But the Typhoon won’t have the Farnborough stage all to itself: Saab, in an act of one-upmanship, will show off its Gripen demonstrator equipped with electronically scanned array radar. Typhoon won’t fly with AESA until next year.
What is the future of the Anglo-French defense security cooperation inked by Nicolas Sarkozy before he lost the French presidential battle to Francois Hollande? Will unmanned combat air vehicles remain on President Hollande’s agenda?
Airbus Military and Boeing will be looking for deals for the A400M and C-17 transport aircraft, although military deals tend not to be inked at the air show. Pushing for exports orders will nevertheless be the focus for both manufacturers at the Farnborough air show. Boeing and Bell Helicopter will also bring the V-22 to the show as they hope to finalize the first export order for the tiltrotor.
Click here to read the full Farnborough air show preview story that featured in last week’s Aviation Week & Space Technology.