Industry brims with enthusiasm at Farnborough, despite ominous clouds on the horizon

THE FARNBOROUGH BLOG, 9 July 2012. First impressions: I note with amusement the level of aerospace industry "confidence" and "optimism" depicted in initial press reports today at the Farnborough International Airshow in Farnborough, England.

Pick up any of the several show dailies hawked at show entrances and you'd think the industry were booming. "Highly confident," "optimistic," and "bullish," are only a few of the superlatives that decorate ebullient press coverage today at Farnborough.

Read between the lines, and one wonders about the reasons for this unbridled enthusiasm, except that ... well, what else can aerospace executives day publicly? I'll wager the industry outlook is somewhat more guarded in private.

Here are a few industry facts that might temper the much-published accounts of enthusiasm. The defense industry is becoming increasingly worried about prospects for automatic $500 billion U.S. military budget cuts called "sequestration" over the next decade that could be triggered automatically on 1 Jan. 2013 if Congress cannot agree to controlled defense cuts.

Boeing officials, in fact, have announced plans to lay off workers effective 1 Jan. in preparation for the anticipated sequestration cuts. "There's no clarity on how that $500 billion reduction will flow down into individual programs," says Dennis Muilenburg, president of the Boeing Defense, Space & Security segment in Monday's show daily put out by Aviation Week.

"Our assumption is to assume that it will happen, and then accommodate it," Muilenburg says. "These cuts will have a devastating impact on the Department of Defense, government agencies, and the industrial base. It is a federal requirement that we give 60 to 90 days advance notice on layoffs, and we are already preparing to do that."

One could infer that the U.S. defense industry could be headed for some period of decline relative to recent years. It only remains to bee seen how severe the decline turns out to be. Much could happen between now and 1 Jan. Congress could break its deadlock and take control of the defense budget for one thing ...

... then there's that interlude scheduled for early November called the presidential election.

Still, in the midst of decline U.S. defense fortunes comes an account in the Flight Global show daily of a resurgent Russian defense industry that is "gearing up to re-arm the nation after 20 years in the doldrums," with promise for broadening foreign military sales for Russian military hardware.

"Major production orders have been signed for almost 270 new combat and training aircraft, and deals are due to follow for an expected 400 more under Moscow's 10-year re-armament package for combat and transport aircraft," Flight Global reports.

Add to the mix a delay in production of the Canadian Bombardier CSeries of regional jetliners due to problems with its Parker Hannifin-provided fly-by-wire system, foot-dragging on the part of Boeing in announcing its plans for a next-generation 777 widebody jet despite pressure from its customers to do so, and a continuing worldwide economic downturn, and it's difficult to see where all this aerospace industry enthusiasm is coming from.

For more information contact the Farnborough International Airshow online at Also follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence daily Farnborough show coverage online at

Follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Low Viscosity, One Part Cyanoacrylate Is Non-Toxic and Meets ISO 10993-5 Specifications

Master Bond MB250NT is widely used for a variety of applications ranging from repair to high speed producti...

Thermally Conductive, Two Component Epoxy Passes USP Class VI Tests and ISO 10993-5 Specifications

With biocompatibility and cytotoxicity certifications, Master Bond EP21AOLV-2Med is often selected for bond...

One Component, Snap Cure Epoxy Features High Strength Properties

Suitable for a variety of applications in the electronic, aerospace and OEM industries, Master Bond EP3SP5F...

One Part Epoxy Resists up to 500°F and Meets NASA Low Outgassing Specifications

Master Bond Supreme 12AOHT-LO is a one component epoxy for a variety of bonding and sealing applications in...

VICTORY Shared Processing, Fire Control Computer, and Switch for Ground Vehicles Introduced by Curtiss-Wright

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced a new fully i...


Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Defense Solutions division applauds Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) o...

Curtiss-Wright’s New Rugged Mobile IP Router Subsystem Features an Integrated Cisco® 5915 ESR Router

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division, a Cisco® Systems Solution T...

GE Announces First Sub-Credit Card-Sized Multi-Function High Definition (HD) Video Tracker

HUNTSVILLE, AL.— OCTOBER 13, 2014—GE’s Intelligent Platforms business today announced at AUSA (October 13-...


Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

April 2015
Volume 26, Issue 4

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles