Mark Kro­nen­berg

At the back­drop of the world’s largest de­fence and se­cu­rity event, DSEi in Lon­don, SP’s Land Forces Ed­i­tor-in-Chief Jayant Baran­wal had an ex­clu­sive tete- á- tete with Mark Kro­nen­berg, Vice Pres­i­dent, In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Boe­ing De­fense Spa

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Vice Pres­i­dent, In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness De­vel­op­ment, Boe­ing De­fense Space and Se­cu­rity

Jayant Baran­wal (SP’s): Which are the key mar­kets Boe­ing is cur­rently en­gaged with? Mark Kro­nen­berg (Kro­nen­berg):

Pri­mar­ily Asia-Pa­cific, Mid­dle East and ac­tu­ally here in Europe we en­gage with the UK. So th­ese are our growth mar­kets. Ap­prox­i­mately 26 per cent of our rev­enues are com­ing in from in­ter­na­tional cus­tomers and we have a goal to get it 30 per cent and we are on track at this point.

SP’s: Can you elab­o­rate on some of your top pro­grammes in th­ese mar­kets? Kro­nen­berg:

Pri­mar­ily, on the plat­forms side, it would be fight­ers with the F-15, the F-18s, C-17s of course. The new mar­ket en­try would be the P-8, In­dia be­ing the first P-8 in­ter­na­tional cus­tomer. In­dia also has the largest fleet of C-17s out­side the US, 10 in their fleet. But there is also another area that is pri­mar­ily to sus­tain. When you look at Boe­ing plat­forms we look to sus­tain those that is go­ing to stay here for the next 25-30 years. It is the train­ing and main­te­nance mar­ket of our ex­ist­ing plat­forms. There are mar­kets like in In­dia, Korea, and quite likely in UK where we see a lot of projects sus­tain on our ex­ist­ing plat­forms.

SP’s: Which top five coun­tries in Asia are the most promis­ing mar­kets for Boe­ing? Kro­nen­berg:

If you look at Asia, In­dia has prob­a­bly got by far the fastest growth. Korea, Sin­ga­pore, Ja­pan and Aus­tralia would also be in our list of Asia-Pa­cific coun­tries which are 45 per cent of the mar­ket in Asia. Mid­dle East is pri­mar­ily driven by Saudi Ara­bia and Emi­rates, and in Europe it’s pri­mar­ily the UK.

SP’s: When you speak of Korea and some of the Mid­dle East coun­tries, which spe­cific pro­grammes are you re­fer­ring to? Kro­nen­berg:

Specif­i­cally in South Ara­bia, we had a large gov­ern­ment-to gov­ern­ment sales, about $23 bil­lion three years ago. There was sale of F-15s, 84 new builds F-15s, 72 ba­si­cally up­grades of ex­ist­ing aero­planes, 36 Apaches, 36 AH6s. So that con­sti­tutes the largest. But if you look at UAE for ex­am­ple, it also has C-17s and Apaches.

SP’s: What are the core tech­nolo­gies cur­rently be­ing de­vel­oped by Boe­ing? Kro­nen­berg:

If you look at the com­mer­cial de­vel­op­ment of air­planes, one thing that we have been able to com­bine is take a look at what we do at the de­fence side for ex­am­ple in multi-mis­sion mar­itime air­planes as well as in next gen­er­a­tion tanker and we com­bine it with what we know on the com­mer­cial side be­cause we are us­ing com­mer­cial plat­forms, the pro­grammes where we tackle multi-mis­sion air­craft pro­grammes for our in­terna- tional cus­tomers and our US ser­vice cus­tomers.

SP’s: Is Boe­ing look­ing at all the three forces re­quire­ments in a bal­anced man­ner or there is a se­ri­ous bias? Kro­nen­berg:

No there is no bias. It’s all on cus­tomer’s pref­er­ence. If we look at the rev­enues that we get from the cus­tomers, it is pretty evenly dis­trib­uted, though air force cus­tomers are a bit larger then army and navy. But the per­cent­age is bal­anced. So it is quite cus­tomer bal­anced.

SP’s: Any spe­cific pro­gramme can you re­fer to in the con­text of ar­mies po­ten­tial re­quire­ments, other than Chi­nooks and Apaches? Kro­nen­berg:

Well Chi­nooks and Apaches are our main­stay in our army re­quire­ments. How­ever, one in the US that has come up is the EMARRS pro­gramme, which is a kind of tac­ti­cal in­tel­li­gence sur­veil­lance re­con­nais­sance (ISR) plat­form and we are work­ing through that. But re­ally our bread and but­ter is through our ro­tor­craft plat­forms, the Apache and CH47s.

SP’s: Is Boe­ing work­ing on new con­cepts on stealth tech­nol­ogy? Kro­nen­berg:

Prob­a­bly it’s more in the elec­tronic war­fare area. So if we look at fighter plat­forms, multi-mis­sion mar­itime air­planes, sys­tems and sub sys­tems, elec­tronic war­fare sur­veil­lance-- those are the kinds of tech­nolo­gies we are de­vel­op­ing for fu­ture con­tin­gen­cies and threats.

SP’s: Any spe­cific de­vel­op­ment to­wards the un­manned com­bat ve­hi­cles? Kro­nen­berg:

If we take a look at nu­clear as­pects, we are go­ing to com­pete with an au­ton­o­mous UAV. It’s for a navy pro­gramme and prob­a­bly in the 2023-2025 time frames.

SP’s: How does Boe­ing per­ceive the un­manned vs manned mar­ket? Kro­nen­berg:

Prob­a­bly the com­bi­na­tion of both. I think you are never go­ing to get a sys­tem where it is go­ing to be com­pletely un­manned. It would be a com­bi­na­tion of sys­tem where men are in the plat­form. For ex­am­ple it’s still the case with Apaches of­fered as UAVs that is prob­a­bly where there is a com­bi­na­tion of both manned and un­manned sys­tems which we are go­ing see in the fu­ture. I do not fore­see a fu­ture where it will be com­pletely un­manned.

SP’s: What are the key un­manned pro­grammes that are cur­rently on with Boe­ing? Kro­nen­berg:

Our main­stay is Scan Ea­gle. It’s a small, tac­ti­cal ISR pro­gramme, which is our main UAV pro­gramme.

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