Boeing is looking to build on its foothold in Asia-Pacific’s defence services market, which it predicts is to become the largest in the world over the next decade.
“The next big market opportunity in the global services arena, is the doubling of [the Asia-Pacific] market in the next ten years, and becoming the largest market in the world,” says Jeff Shockey, vice president of global sales and marketing at Boeing Defense, Space & Security at a roundtable briefing in Singapore.
Vice-president of international sales, Gene Cunningham, says that the conversations that Boeing is having with governments are “no longer ‘I’ve got an Apache, would you like to buy an Apache’”, but are about understanding their specific needs, security concerns and the capabilities they are seeking.
Those conversations are opening up opportunities to create support programmes that address multiple products together, as opposed to the traditional support of an individual platform, he adds.
Sales prospects for military aircraft across the region remain strong. Boeing is in talks with multiple governments about its airborne refueling, maritime patrol and helicopter platforms.
Cunningham adds that Boeing is “engaged in the process to look at what their next fighter might look like”, as Japan looks to a future replacement of its F-2s.
Reports in April suggested that rival Lockheed Martin plans to offer a hybrid of the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II to meet the forthcoming requirement.
Meanwhile, the manufacturer is bidding to sell the P-8 Poseidon to South Korea, which is expected to decide on a maritime patrol aircraft by the end of 2018.
In India, Boeing is looking to pitch the KC-46 to meet a requirement there. Separately, on 1 June, it announced that its Tata Boeing Aerospace joint venture had delivered its first AH-64 Apache fuselage “five to six weeks” ahead of schedule.
The Hyderabad-based facility, which was operational a year ago, will be the sole global producer of fuselages for AH-64s delivered by Boeing to its global customers, including the United States. The facility will also produce secondary structures and vertical spar boxes for the multi-role combat helicopter.
Boeing is also looking to build on its delivery of eight AH-64s to Indonesia, and has had discussions with Jakarta on the potential sale of CH-47 Chinooks.
“Around the world, operators that have Apaches are also operators of Chinook. No doubt there is a fine pairing of those two aircraft in terms of defence capabilities and about us to provide unique solutions,” says Cunningham.