May 3, 2012

News Briefs May 3, 2012

Pratt & Whitney boss sees long-term strength

The president of Pratt & Whitney expects that the military and commercial aerospace business will improve, but not for a while.

David Hess, president of the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., told reporters at the company’s annual media day May 2 that sales are expected to double, to $24 billion, by the end of the decade. But he said Pratt & Whitney must navigate a few transitional years.

High fuel costs and the weak economic recovery are pressuring airlines. Hess said Pratt & Whitney’s purchase of Rolls-Royce from a joint venture that makes engines for the Airbus A320 will boost engine deliveries by 2018.

On the military side, he said Pratt & Whitney’s engine for the F-35 joint strike fighter will generate revenue long-term, even amid Pentagon budget cuts.

Just last week, a Pentagon official signaled that the Army could lay off as many as 24,000 enlisted personnel and up to 5,000 officers within five years to meet a projected reduction in the force driven by budget cuts and the winding down of two wars.

Pratt & Whitney is based in Huntsville Ala. AP


Philippines seeks U.S. help to build its military

The Philippines is asking for more U.S. military hardware and says it’s in Washington’s strategic interest to help.

Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario said May 2 the Philippines is requesting patrol vessels and aircraft, radar systems and coast watch stations.

His comments come after high-level talks in Washington this week, and amid a continuing standoff between the Philippines and China at a disputed shoal in the South China Sea.

Del Rosario told the Heritage Foundation think tank it was in other nations’ interest to support the Philippines in standing up for freedom of navigation and unimpeded commerce.

He said the U.S. needs a stronger ally to help guarantee stability in the Asia-Pacific so it should “invest in the development of the Philippines’ defense and military capability.” AP


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