US export controls on technology are being too liberally applied, according to the head of Boeing's military arm.

"We're certainly supporters of controlling critical technologies," says Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems at the show yesterday. "But in my view there are too many things that are defined as critical technologies that aren't."

Albaugh is worried that the situation risks damaging an international industry consortium working on interoperability standards for network-centric operations.

The Network Centric Operations Industry Consortium (NCOIC), which brings together more than 70 US and overseas organisations, has hit a problem over restrictions with the regulations, which are preventing US firms sharing information with foreign members. Senior Boeing officials said last month that the NCOIC had not anticipated a problem with US export controls because it was using open, non-proprietary products.

"I do have concerns about export controls in general," says Albaugh. If the US was truly interested in supporting its foreign allies and in them supporting the US, they need to be able to participate, he said.

Earlier in the briefing, Albaugh warned many projects faced potential hurdles as the rise in US defence budgets of the past few years tailed off or even started to decline. He believes several types of programme would come under scrutiny, including any with large price tickets; any with performance issues; and any that were deemed not to be 'transformational', such as the Comanche helicopter cancelled last year.

"I think programmes need to be relevant. Any large programmes that don't deliver capabilities to our customers for seven, eight, nine years I think run a real risk of being cancelled or pushed out."

Source: Flight Daily News