Random 5: Top Boeing military aircraft exec’s presser

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Chris Chadwick, Boeing military aircraft president, called a media roundtable to field questions across the wide range of his business, which includes F/A-18, F-15, C-17, P-8A and Scan Eagle. Here are five random bits of information from my notebook while I continue to work on the news story.

1. Boeing wants to sign up foreign and domestic risk-sharing partners for the F-15 Silent Eagle. Chadwick raised that topic in the context of discussing a theoretical sale of F-15 Silent Eagles to Saudi Arabia.

2. Boeing’s internal policy bans “marketing” the F/A-18 or F-15 to Tier 1 and Tier 2 JSF partners (UK, Italy and the Netherlands), but it is “providing information” to those countries. I asked Boeing later to explain the difference.

“For the purposes of this discussion, you can take ‘marketing’ to mean proactively soliciting decision makers in new markets, with intent to create an opportunity for our aircraft,” a spokesman said. “By ‘providing information’ we mean that we are responding to an unsolicited request (formal or informal) for information about our products/systems.”

3. Chadwick confirmed that Qatar is now a sales target for the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. Last year, the C-17 became the first US military hardware purchased by Qatar ever.

4. The Boeing and Lockheed Martin partnership for the next-generation bomber will remain intact despite the DOD’s propsoal to defer the program, Chadwick said. Refocusing the program on unmanned aircraft also would not change the status of the partnership, he said.

5. Chadwick explained his “utopia”:

“If I wereking for a day and there was something the US government would do that would help the F/A-18 in the international arena, it would be for them to just unequivocally let international customers knowthat no matter what capability or product they would like, the US government standsbehind it and it would support their decision as a sovereign country. That would be -that would make my week.”

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6 Responses to Random 5: Top Boeing military aircraft exec’s presser

  1. SMSgt Mac 4 June, 2009 at 6:19 am #

    Good info. Thanks!
    Do you think perhaps Chris might wish to issue a slight clarification on Point 5 pretty soon?

  2. Airpower 4 June, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    Point 5 sounds a lot like – don’t make a fuss when we start to hustle the JSF nations…

  3. Per Ljung 4 June, 2009 at 8:02 pm #

    > Boeing’s internal policy bans “marketing” the F/A-18 or F-15 to Tier 1 and Tier 2 JSF partners

    So why is pitching the F/A-18 to Denmark (Level 3) ok?

    > “By ‘providing information’ we mean that we are responding to an unsolicited request

    How does one respond to an *unsolicited* request? Translated into english this is “You didn’t ask me, but let me tell you anyway.”

  4. SMSgt Mac 5 June, 2009 at 2:28 am #

    Without some qualification in the statement,
    …”If I were king for a day and there was something the US government would do that would help the F/A-18 in the international arena, it would be for them to just unequivocally let international customers know that no matter what capability or product they would like, the US government stands behind it and it would support their decision as a sovereign country. That would be – that would make my week.” …

    As cited, it sounds an awful like “In my perfect world, I could sell whatever I wanted to whomever I wanted, whenever I wanted, National Security be d*****” to me.

    All he would have had to do is insert ‘Friendly Nation’ someplace near ‘customer’ to fix it. Has the feel of Freud as it is written.

  5. Matt 5 June, 2009 at 3:09 am #

    @Per Ljung
    Point 1: Because they aren’t a Tier 1 or 2 nation. I’m not sure what all the commitments come with being each level but by Boeing’s rules they can pitch it to Denmark because they are Tier 3.

    Point 2: Uh, that’s a pretty liberal interpretation. I think it obviously means Boeing didn’t go around saying “Hey, think F/A-18 or F-15!” but instead the nation that they haven’t pitched to before asks for information.

  6. Royce 5 June, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    It didn’t sound to me like he wants to sell it to any nation he wants. Just that he wants the government to be neutral if he’s trying to sell to a current or potential JSF customer.

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