Boeing CEO: Chinese Stealth Jet a Harbinger of Things to Come

1/12/2011
By Stew Magnuson
Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of commercial airplanes for The Boeing Company, sees a day when China will compete with the United States for the international jet fighter and commercial aviation markets. 
China unveiled its stealth fighter jet, the J-20, this week by carrying out a test flight on the second day of the Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ trip.
That timing of the test flight, as well as the aircraft’s true capabilities, have been the source of widespread speculation.
Albaugh, speaking to reporters in Washington, D.C., at an Aerospace Industries Association event, said he didn’t want to comment on whether the aircraft posed a security threat. However, it may mean competition for the U.S. industrial base, he added.
“They will at some point in time have a good airplane. We know they will. They went to space. They can probably do anything they want to do. They have the resources. They have smart people,” said Albaugh, who is serving as the 2011 AIA chairman.
Albaugh was previously president and CEO of Boeing Space and Communications.
He has been serving the company on the commercial aviation side for 15 months.
From an industrial standpoint, right now on commercial “we are competing against the Europeans. In the years to come, it’s going to be the Europeans, the Brazilians, the Canadians. It’s going to be the Chinese COMAC [Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China]. It could be the Russians,” he added.
“I think from an export standpoint, we will be increasingly challenged as an aerospace industry because the Chinese are going to be players, too,” he added.

Topics: Aviation, Tactical Aircraft, International

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