Washington: Boeing, trying to press its case and boost F-18 sales, said today that F-35 partner nations are searching for a plan B for the next-generation fighter, but are waiting until program’s total costs top out before acting.
The nine F-35 countries are watching closely to see if costs will continue to grow past the $900 million increase announced this week by the F-35 program office, claims Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing’s military aircraft division.
The nine F-35 partner nations are watching closely to see if costs will continue to grow past the $900 million increase announced this week by the F-35 program office, said Chris Chadwick, president of Boeing’s military aircraft division.
“Where is it going to end? Is it going to end?” Chadwick said. “I think that will drive the decisions by the international customers.”
The company has been pushing its F/A-18 Super Hornet hard to both F-35 international partners, and other countries recapitalizing their fighter fleet.
He said this week’s announcement did not create a panic among F-35 partner nations Boeing has been in contact with, but those talks have not necessarily died down either
“They are biding their time…and then they will make a decision,” he said.
The cost concerns on the F-35, along with the overall weakness in the U.S. economy, the international market will probably get more aggressive in looking for other options.
“I think they, like [us] are all waiting to see what is going to happen with this overall debt reduction,” Chadwick said. “That, coupled with the status of the F-35 program…will determine the end state.”
Once that end state hits, Boeing and their aircraft will be waiting with open arms.
“We are patient. We have time… and we will continue to compete where we can and see how this plays out,” Chadwick said.”At the end of the day, we will be just fine.”