Lockheed slashes participation at Farnborough to save money

Washington DC
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Lockheed Martin will partly define its own new reality by slashing its participation and media outreach at the Farnborough air show this year.

"I won't be going to the air show," says Lockheed chief executive Bob Stevens. "Many of our corporate leaders won't be going to the air show."

Lockheed also will limit its public events during the show, to include cancelling the annual media dinner, Stevens says.

Reducing the company's presence at the aerospace industry's largest exhibition this year is part of a wider corporate strategy.

"We're changing our approach based on our sense that we are all facing a new reality," Stevens says.

That reality is about facing increasing demands for the military and security services the company provides for governments and markets with rising resource constraints, he says.

Although Stevens says Lockheed's participation will be reduced by 50%, it's not clear what that exactly means.

While Stevens and other executives may abstain, the company is keeping its chalet, which is among the largest exhibitor spaces at the show.

The only Lockheed-built aircraft planned to be displayed on the static line is a US Air Force F-16. A Lockheed F-22 will also participate in the flying display, but will be parked at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire, following its participation in the Royal International Air Tattoo on 17-18 July.

"I assure you we will have the right people in the right place at the right time to conduct all the business of our company," Stevens says. "We will meet with customers. We will meet with partners. We'll reinforce our relationships."

It's also not clear whether Lockheed's decision could influence other contractors.

Indeed, Honeywell first scaled back its presence at Farnborough in 2008, eliminating its corporate chalet and exhibit booth.