Fri, Jun 30, 2006
"Very Disappointed" With Delays
Australia's defense minister says
he's tired of waiting for Boeing to deliver the six Airborne Early
Warning and Control Aircraft the manufacturer is building for that
Bloomberg reports in a joint press conference with US Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld this week, Brendan Nelson said his
country is "very disappointed" with significant delays in the
"I think Boeing has let the Australian government down, and I
think they've let themselves down," Nelson said.
Nelson also said he's met with the head of Boeing's defense
department, Jim Albaugh... and, he says, he gave Albaugh a message:
Nelson intends to make "damn sure" Boeing delivers on their end of
Despite his harsh words, however, Nelson was careful to note
that he, and other Australian defense officials, are "confident"
that despite the 18-month delay, they'll eventually get the
aircraft coming to them.
The planes in question are part of the "Wedgetail" program,
which uses Boeing's next-generation 737 commercial plane as the
foundation for an early-warning radar platform. Boeing is also
building a version of the plane for Turkey -- it's called the
"Peace Eagle" there -- and that program has suffered from similar
Boeing announced Thursday that it will take somewhere between a
$300 million and $500 million pre-tax hit this fiscal quarter for
the delays... revenue that Boeing's defense side -- currently a
loss leader, compared to Boeing's profitable commercial operation
-- really can't afford to lose.
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