Unforced errors. Double faults. In the world of sports, there's little glory in winning the game because of an opponent's missteps. Still ... a win's a win, eh? So give a polite round of applause, and pass the trophy to Boeing
As you may recall, Boeing's archrival in aerospace, Europe's EADS, has been working to create a new military transport aircraft for use by NATO members: the A400M. Unfortunately, the plane's already behind schedule, and getting things back on track looks increasingly problematic. EADS warned last week that delays in manufacturing the A400M's turboprop engines will push initial deliveries back to at least 2012. EADS has essentially halted production on the plane, and it refuses to commit to a firm delivery date until it gets a better handle on its problems.
Earlier this week, Britain's Defense Secretary termed continued delays in the A400M program "unnecessary and unacceptable." Harsh words indeed, even more so because Britain was one of the seven nations that set up the A400M project in the first place -- this is their baby. And now it seems Britain is in the adoption market.
Following a coalition of smaller European countries that purchased two Boeing C-17 Globemasters late last year, Britain says that it, too, is now considering the U.S. plane. As Britain's defense secretary explained, "We cannot accept a three to four year delay in the delivery of these [A400M] aircraft."
Boeing's still flying
In light of Boeing's recent announcement that the global recession is starting to eat into orders for new commercial airliners, the good news from Olde Englande seems especially Merry today. Between potential orders from Britain's Defense Ministry (and perhaps others?), and Tuesday's news that our own Defense Department is ordering up $1.1 billion worth of "performance-based logistics" on the aircraft (namely, parts and services necessary to keep the planes serviceable), it seems Boeing's defense business is still buzzing.
That's also grand news for C-17 parts suppliers such as Honeywell
Further Foolishness on the C-17 saga: