Military Aircraft Sales Up

The dour economic environment of the past year did not prevent an increase in military aircraft sales, up from $57 billion in 2008 to $61.7 billion in 2009, according to the Aerospace Industries Association’s annual report released Wednesday. However, AIA CEO Marion Blakey doesn’t expect the aerospace industry’s upward trend to continue, predicting an incremental increase in 2010 and a slump in 2011. Still, AIA does expect the mammoth F-35 strike fighter program—currently showing strains, see above—and the unmanned aircraft sector to help bolster military sales. Blakey declared at an AIA luncheon Wednesday, “The aerospace industry is sound and able to absorb some punishment from the economy.” (AIA annual report)