Military, Commercial Programs Will Prop Up Business
The CEO of Bell Helicopter thinks three large U.S. military aircraft programs along with strong commercial demand for rotary-wing aircraft will sustain the Textron subsidiary even if sequestration forces major cuts in the defense department.
John Garrison made those remarks following a V-22 demonstration at the Farnborough International Air Show Thursday. "I'm pretty bullish," he told Reuters, saying there is positive momentum at Bell even with the possibility of deep military budget cuts and a still-challenging world economy.
Garrison said that one of the company's primary objectives at Farnborough was to generate foreign sales, particularly of the V-22. He also said that the company was looking to increase its commercials sales, which represents about 35 percent of revenue compared with 65 percent for military sales.
Another project Garrison said will be in the mix is the competition for the Army's Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter program, which was shelved in 2008 after it came in substantially over budget. He said all of the companies current military programs are on schedule and under budget.