Boeing foresees strong market potential for military aircraft derived from its commercial aircraft.
At Dubai air show briefing, Boeing’s vice president for surveillance and engagement Tim Peters said that there is a potential international market for 100 P-8A Poseidons, the company’s long range maritime patrol aircraft derived from the successful 737 airliner.
Beyond this, there is a potential market for 30-40 tankers, and 10-15 aircraft for transporting heads of state. There will also be a broad market to replace aging military aircraft around the world based on the 707 airliner.
Peters said that military derivatives of the company’s strong selling commercial aircraft provide a range of benefits to customers. These include proven airframes, a long production run, and a global support network.
In regard to the US government’s plan to replace the presidential VC-25 aircraft – a 747-200 variant popularly referred to as ‘Air Force One’ – he said that the company responded to a US department of defence request for information a few months back, and that it is pitching the 747-8 for the requirement.
He noted that the current pair of VC-25s were delivered in the late eighties, and will need to be replaced in “the first part of the next decade.”