U.S. Primes Cut Paris Air Show Spending to Avoid DOD Backlash

Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens

Underlying much of the show will be a deep unease about the future course of American defense spending. Since the United States accounts for the great majority of the world’s defense spending, the serious prospect of cuts totaling hundreds of billions over the next decade, casts a pall over the show. The clouds began to gather at last year’s Farnborough Air Show when Lockheed Martin announced it would substantially reduce its presence at the show.

Lockheed Martin CEO Bob Stevens

According to Colin Clark column in AOL Defense, this year Lockheed took the same basic approach, with CEO Bob Stevens telling the press at their now annual pre-Paris breakfast that he would not attend the show again and his company would cut its spending on the show by one-third. That amounts to only a few million dollars but Lockheed, Boeing and Northrop Grumman are all wary of spending much money on such a high-profile event.

The senior leaders at the Pentagon have made clear they are watching the defense companies closely and want them to keep costs under tight control. On the other hand. Raytheon is playing up its attendance and offerings at the show, clearly more confident that their business model will benefit. Raytheon is doing well with international sales, which make up about 25 percent of recent sales.

Read Colin Clark’s article on AOL Defense