September 7, 2011 / 11:00 PM / 6 years ago

Boeing boosts overseas defense sale target

3 Min Read

<p>The Boeing 767-based NewGen Tanker is pictured simultaneously refueling two F/A-18 Super Hornet aircraft from the wing air refueling pods in this undated photo illustration, obtained on February 24, 2011.Boeing/Handout</p>

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Boeing Co (BA.N)> expects up to 30 percent of its security-related sales to come from abroad by 2013, a greater share than previously projected, the head of the company's defense unit said on Wednesday.

Boeing originally had set a 25 percent target for such sales, compared with roughly 17 percent at the end of last year and about 7 percent five years ago.

The new goal "does represent a bit of a higher bar" than earlier, Dennis Muilenburg, chief executive of Boeing's space, security and defense arm, told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit in Washington by teleconference.

"And some of the recent wins that we've had on the international front give us confidence that that's not only an achievable level but a sustainable level," he said.

The defense unit's foreign successes have been broad-based spanning fighter jets, rotor craft, commercial derivatives aircraft and satellites, Muilenburg said.

"The fact that it is broad-based across our portfolio and across regions around the world does give us an added sense of momentum there," he said.

Muilenburg described overseas demand as booming for border security, intelligence and homeland security products. He also predicted strong military aircraft sales, including the F-18 Super Hornet fighter.

Boeing is the Pentagon's No. 2 supplier after Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N). It splits its sales almost evenly between its defense business and commercial airplane products, though its shares more closely track developments in commercial orders and deliveries.

The company has said it is seeing increased interest overseas for the Super Hornet as Lockheed's radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has faced cost overruns and schedule slips.

Defense sub-unit Boeing Military Aircraft expects its foreign sales to account for as much as 40 percent of its total sales by the end of next year, up from 25 percent in 2010, Jeffrey Kohler, a Boeing vice president for business development, said in an interview last week.

Shares of Boeing closed up 3.4 percent at $64.90 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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