LONDON — Boeing Co. hopes to secure up to 20% of the British army's 6-billion-pound ($10.9-billion) modernization program, the defense and aerospace company said Monday.
"We'd like to participate, say 10% to 20% of the program," said Dennis Muilenburg, program manager for Future Combat Systems at Boeing.
Britain's Future Rapid Effect System is similar to the U.S. Army's $100-billion combat-systems modernization program that began in 2003 and aims to be in full service in 2014.
The British army is set to replace several types of vehicles and use an electronic network to link soldiers, vehicles, aircraft and unmanned vehicles on the ground and in the air. The system is estimated to cost 49 billion pounds in total over its 30-year lifespan, including the cost of maintaining the equipment.
Similarly, the Future Combat Systems in the U.S. will use advanced communications to link Army troops with a new family of 18 light, fast, manned and unmanned air and ground vehicles.
Muilenburg said Boeing's experience as a manager of the U.S. program could help the British system. "We think there's lessons to be learned," he said, adding that a role in the Future Rapid Effect System would allow Boeing to increase its 500-strong workforce in Britain.
"Our vision is to partner with U.K. industry," he said.
Chicago-based Boeing would back the transfer of U.S. technology developed for Future Combat Systems to Britain, he said.
Britain's Ministry of Defense is expected to decide next year to what degree it wants industrial players to manage the program, planned for service in 2009.