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Boeing: More Defense Business Coming From Overseas

Wed, 05/16/2012 - 10:23am
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — With defense spending in the U.S. tight, Boeing Co. is aiming to get 30 percent of its defense revenue from overseas, the company's CEO said on Tuesday.

Besides making commercial airplanes, Boeing is a major defense contractor. Last year it won the bidding to build a new Air Force tanker based on its 767 commercial plane. It also makes fighter jets and satellites.

Boeing CEO Jim McNerney said about 17 percent of Boeing's defense revenue came from overseas customers in 2010. That grew to 24 percent last year, and can hit 30 percent "in the near future." McNerney's comments came at the company's annual investor day.

He said Boeing has an advantage in winning overseas business because of the combined size of its commercial airplane and defense businesses.

Also on Tuesday, Jim Albaugh, the head of Boeing's commercial airplane unit, said the company is aiming to produce two of its redesigned 747s per month by this summer. He said Boeing expects to make five per month of its new 787 plane by this fall. The company is aiming to get to 10 per month next year. Albaugh said the company is examining what it would take to make more than that, although he made it clear that it has not decided to build the 787 that fast.

Boeing has been speeding up production of all of its commercial planes to try to reduce a backlog of almost 4,000 planes that have been ordered but not yet delivered.

Boeing shares fell 27 cents to $72.85 in afternoon trading.

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