England (Reuters) – Boeing Co’s defense business expects a return to moderate growth rates in revenues next year after relatively flat revenues in 2010, Dennis Muilenburg, president of Boeing Co’s defense business, told reporters on Sunday.
Muilenburg, speaking on the eve of the Farnborough air show, said the company was focused on growth in core areas through international sales, as well as expansion in adjacent markets like unmanned vehicles, communications and cybersecurity to help offset declines linked to cancellation of several big Boeing programs by the Pentagon last year.
He said Boeing’s goal was to expand international sales to comprise about 25 percent of defense revenues, up from 16 percent. He said the company still expected to maintain a 50-50 split of commercial and military revenues overall.
Mark Kronenberg, vice president of international business development, said Boeing expected to sell about 30 more C-17 cargo planes overseas in the next five years, including 10 to India that were already announced and 20 to other customers.
Boeing officials said they supported the Pentagon’s drive to lower overhead costs in weapons programs, but Chris Raymond, vice president for business development, said Boeing was concerned about declining Pentagon investment in research and development programs, the seed money for future weapons programs.
For now, Boeing and other companies were funding research on their own, but at some point that would no longer be sustainable, Raymond said.