June 20, 2017 / 7:09 PM / 7 months ago

Boeing's defense unit seeks franchise-level win: executive

PARIS (Reuters) - Boeing Co, the world’s largest plane maker, is banking on the recent reorganization of its defense arm to deliver a large U.S. defense contract win, the CEO of the unit said Tuesday.

Last week, Boeing announced its defense business would cut about 50 executive positions as it removed a layer of management and reorganized into seven business units instead of five.

Leanne Caret, the CEO of Boeing’s Defense, Space & Security business, said in an interview at the Paris Airshow landing a big defense contract has been elusive for Boeing.

Caret, who became the head of the unit in February 2016, said she was excited about competing in four franchise-making programs and work in the classified realm.

Specifically, Caret had her sights set on the next U.S. supersonic training jet competition, known as the T-X as well as the new intercontinental ballistic missile weapons system competition, known as the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD).

Boeing’s defense unit is also competing for the U.S. Air Force’s flying command and targeting center, the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (JSTARS).

Caret also said Boeing was keen for a win in the MQ-25 project, an unmanned aircraft to assist U.S. Navy’s carrier’s with surveillance around the ship.

Caret, a second-generation Boeing employee who said she bleeds “Boeing blue”, is looking at opportunities to work on several classified projects as well.

Boeing’s defense business accounted for nearly a third of the company’s total revenue in 2016. The reorganization, aimed at making Boeing more agile and responsive to customer needs will be effective on July 1.

Reporting by Mike Stone and Andrea Shalal; editing by Susan Thomas

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