Exports: Saving our Bacon?

10 C-17s are heading to India

The budget situation in the United States looks pretty awful for the foreseeable future.  Where the Department of Defense will land in the upcoming slew of red ink is still an open (and much debated) question, but nobody is placing bets on a boom in major defense programs any time soon.

That’s why the recent decision by the Indian government to order 10 C-17’s from Boeing is such a relief to companies up and down the West Coast and around the country.  This win for Boeing guarantees that their Long Beach, CA based production line will be cranking out the Globemaster until 2014.  The effects of this one order can be seen all over the Northwest, including companies like Portland based Precision Castparts Corp, who supplies parts for the cargo plane.

This new order from India highlights a trend of major exports of US defense products.  W.J. Hennigan penned an excellent summary of the export market in today’s Los Angeles Times, and it’s definitely worth a read.   While the future climate for the domestic US defense market could still best be described as lousy, every dark cloud has a silver lining.  Perhaps the export market is just what the doctor ordered.

Update (6/17/11):As if on cue, Australia makes me look awfully smart.


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