Losing the Air Force’s bomber competition last year was a heavy blow for Boeing’s defense unit. However, the company has plenty of room to maneuver, given its $432 billion backlog of orders for jetliners. Equally important, the recently installed head of Boeing Defense, Space & Security has a plan for growing her unit’s revenues and returns based on things the business has already demonstrated it can do. First, it will apply its large-aircraft skills to a wide array of military opportunities both at home and abroad — everything from aerial refueling to maritime patrol to early warning. Second, it will greatly expand its services business, and not just in support of Boeing planes. Third, it will grow its activities in commercial, civil and military space. Fourth, it will continue selling critical rotorcraft to domestic and foreign customers. Finally, it will invest in winning new starts like the Air Force’s T-X trainer and unmanned vehicles. When you look at the range of products Boeing defense already has, there are lots of options for the future. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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