PENTAGON: The world’s top buyer of military equipment won’t be there, but the Pentagon is sending a senior acquisition official from the Office of Secretary of Defense to the Farnborough Air Show in July.
Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics won’t be there. And the head of the F-35 program, the world’s biggest allied acquisition effort, Vice Adm. David Venlet, won’t be there either; neither will Ash Carter, the deputy defense secretary who attended the Paris Air Show when he held Kendall’s job.
It’s difficult to tell whether the Paris and Farnborough shows are losing their cachet as defense showpieces or whether the defense companies and the Pentagon are just eager to look like they are saving money. Northrop Grumman announced late last year that they would not be attending Farnborough in what company representatives said was a cost-saving move. Although Lockheed Martin’s CEO won’t be there, I understand one of the top three company officials will attend with the company’s delegation.
Raytheon, however, plans to continue its aggressive use of the two biggest air shows — Paris and Farnborough — to increase its international market share. BAE Systems, playing on its home court, will press its advantage as it always does. Their media centre is usually remarkably accommodating and garners them more coverage than they might otherwise draw.
Breaking Defense will, of course, be covering Farnborough. In addition to our print coverage, we’ll have a videographer along to supply you, dear readers, with video reportage.
Our persistent air show coverage starts July 6.