I'm no dove when it comes to military hardware. Let others rant against the military-industrial complex. I personally have nothing against Boeing
I do, however, question the need to spend $100 million apiece to deploy high-tech fighter jets that are doing things like bombing caves and strafing pirates, in countries where the most serious anti-aircraft threat is an AK-47 pointed at the sky.
Seems to me, we should be able to find better, cheaper ways to deal with threats like these -- and as it turns out, we have. And we have Goldman Sachs
Goldman goes to war
Goldman, you see, is co-owner of recent Raytheon
According to Hawker, if you remove the threat of surface-to-air missiles from the equation, turbocharged fighter jets really aren't required for most war zones. Absent the need for a short burst of speed to evade SAMs, prop-driven planes like its AT-6 attack plane and King Air 350 are just as survivable -- and cost a fraction the price of fighter jets.
Take the AT-6, for example. It's powered by one of United Technologies'
That's attractive in a time of declining defense budgets and rising oil prices. Attractive enough that the U.S. Air Force has already put in orders to buy 15 of the planes. USAF is holding a competition between Hawker and Embraer
Of course, the Afghan war won't last forever. (It only feels like it.) Looking further out, Hawker sees a strong market for prop-driven warplanes internationally, as "irregular warfare conflicts continu[e] to multiply around the globe." With allied governments desperate to cut back the spending needed to fight them, the AT-6 looks like a winner.
But to move the needle on Goldman's bottom line, the banker will probably have to sell Hawker Beechcraft. Keep an eye out for news of a sale: Add Goldman Sachs to your Fool Watchlist today.
Fool contributor Rich Smith holds no position in any company mentioned, but The Motley Fool owns shares of Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications Holdings, and Raytheon, and Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Embraer and L-3 Communications Holdings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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