Flat Earth Society

Boeing sees US defense procurement, research, and development funding as “under pressure” for the coming years, with the “potential to stay, at best, flat,” Chris Raymond, company vice president for integrated systems business development told reporters at a pre-Paris Air Show briefing June 10 in Arlington, Va. Still, the company sees the defense aerospace market as “pretty robust,” Raymond said, since it considers the new Administration to be “forward leaning” toward allowing allies to buy the American military hardware that they desire. (That would fit in with the new Pentagon mantra of building “partner capacity.”) Boeing F/A-18 program manager Bob Gower said the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a finalist in many competitions, adding, “We haven’t seen this many international opportunities [for fighters sales] since the F-4 days.” For its part, domestically, Boeing will try to “keep things sold” to the US military, meaning continued production of proven products with a mature manufacturing base, like the C-17, which are “still relevant,” Raymond said. At the same time, the company will push more comprehensively into areas such as information technology, logistics, command and control, cyber, and unmanned systems.