MBDA has advanced its plans to establish a meaningful presence in the USA, and presented Jerry Agee as the chief executive of its MBDA Inc company at the show.

Formerly corporate vice-president of Northrop Grumman, Agee has been in his new post for just two weeks. "MBDA Inc has been in existence for around 10 years," he says. "What is changing is the strategy and the emphasis that MBDA is putting on the US market."

MBDA chief executive Antoine Bouvier says the European company has been planning for its new US drive for the last two years, but that it is still "reviewing its objectives".

However, outlining a desire to grow organically, via partnership agreements with US-based companies and to also consider future mergers and acquisitions, he says "we think there are some interesting opportunities".

He says: "The short run will be challenging. But for the long term I'm optimistic." He says a review of the company's plans held with the US Department of Defense in April received "favourable" feedback. MBDA Inc has also recently recruited a new senior management team, which he says will start work between late June and the end of July.

Bouvier is meanwhile maintaining his prediction of a stable business forecast for 2009. "The environment is quite challenging. We are facing budget pressures everywhere, and our market is as competitive as it has ever been," he says. "But defence is certainly more robust than other industries."

And the company is seeing high-level interest in its capabilities at the show, he says. "We are expecting more than 100 delegations from countries around the world, and we will mature a number of our discussions."

Source: Flight Daily News