US aerospace giant, Boeing Co, perceives a "historic window of opportunity" to boost its military business in the Middle East and Asia-Pacific as countries in the region upgrade their defence systems. According to a senior company official, Boeing will seek to boost international sales in its overall defence business from 10 per cent last year to 25 per cent by 2013.
This shift in focus comes as hard economic times indicate incremental growth in the domestic market.
Boeing is looking at GCC states, as well as India, Japan and Australia, as countries heavily invested in military aircraft programmes.
"Right now we see the Middle East and Asia-Pacific in a recapitalisation phase, and there is a historic window of opportunity where they are looking to upgrade and procure new capabilities," said Chris Chadwick, the president of Boeing Military Aircraft.
The UAE is set to become the world's third-largest operator of Boeing C-17 heavy lift military transport aircraft, after the US and UK, with deliveries for six planes starting this year. "We will deliver four this year and two next year," Chadwick said.
According to industry estimates, Boeing is set to earn up to $11.4 billion worth of orders for equipment, long-term logistical support and training from the UAE, Qatar and Kuwait on pending and recently closed aircraft sales.