SINGAPORE AIRSHOW: Boeing Pursuing Big Opportunities in Asia-Pacific Region

By Meredith Roaten
F/A-18 Super Hornet

Boeing image

SINGAPORE — The Asia Pacific region will be a reliable and steady market for aerospace companies over the next decade despite recent pressure related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a senior Boeing executive.

The global market outlook for the space and defense industry over the next 10 years “remains very stable” at $2.6 trillion, said Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing’s defense enterprise on Feb. 14 during a press conference previewing the Singapore Airshow. Of that predicted market share, about $70 billion worth of business is estimated to be in the Asia Pacific region over the next five years, she said.


“The market remains very stable. We're still looking at a $2.6 trillion market over the next 10 years. What's very exciting about that is if you think about the Asia Pacific region of that we see $70 billion over the next five years,” she said.


She highlighted maritime, surveillance and refueling operations as major interests in the region.

One of the opportunities for the company in the region is the Indian navy’s multirole carrier-borne program. Boeing is offering the F/A-18 Super Hornet.  The value of the contract has been estimated at more than $4.5 billion.

Caret pointed to “successful” tests of the platform in 2020 that demonstrated its foldable wings — a feature that sets the aircraft apart from its primary competitor for the defense contract, Dassault Aviation’s Rafale.

The Indian air force is running a similar multirole fighter aircraft program. Caret said Boeing could offer “a couple of different capabilities.” The company has mentioned F-15EX fighter jets as an option for the program in the past.

“From an air force perspective, we’ll wait and see what the actual requirements are,” she said.

Collaboration with local defense networks is important in the Indo-Pacific, Caret added. For example, Boeing’s efforts on the Airpower Teaming System — an unmanned jet aircraft being developed in Australia — came to fruition as it designed and manufactured two of the aircraft last year, she said.

“This really plays well in continuing to bring that local capability and talent from an engineering perspective all the way to the value stream, and we look forward to doing that even more so in the region,” she said.

She noted the pressure COVID-19 has put on defense budgets.

“There are still really difficult decisions that are being made,” she said. But Boeing is focusing on a “more for less” concept that enables the company to be flexible and pivot when necessary, she said.

Another platform regionally in demand is the P-8 — a maritime patrol and anti-sub aircraft.

India re-upped its order of the platforms, which will be delivered by the first quarter of 2022, Boeing officials said at the Dubai Airshow last fall. The Indian navy is still working with Boeing to secure training systems for the platforms.

“It's an amazing weapon system that has continued to serve the world incredibly well, and we're continuing to see demand signals here,” Caret said.

While the U.S. Navy recently stopped purchasing the platform, Boeing announced it would offer it to replace Canada’s fleet of CP-140 Aurora aircraft.

Topics: Global Defense Market

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