9 Oct 02. Boeing (NYSE: BA – News), has established its first office in
Scotland to boost support to the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense, or MoD.
Operations at the new Boeing office will significantly improve support to the MoD’s Corporate Technical Services branch-part of the Defense Logistics Organization, or DLO, which is located just a short walk away.
“We’re delighted that Boeing is making this commitment to the MoD’s Chinook helicopter program,” said Maj. Gen. Tim Cross of the DLO. “Technical documents and publications provide crucial support to the Chinook fleet and this new fleet will enable the MoD and Boeing teams to develop a closer working relationship, streamline processes and introduce efficiency and cost savings.
“Although initially concentrating on the Chinook, it is a realistic expectation that all U.K. publications for Boeing military aircraft could now be handled from Glasgow. Therefore, today’s event is a small but important step that reinforces the improving partnerships between the MoD and industry, to deliver a better service at best value to the taxpayer.
“The DLO’s large footprint in Scotland means that we need to tie in our outputs closely with industrial partners; to produce efficiencies and more importantly improve the fighting power of our armed forces,” Cross said.
The Glasgow operation is part of the Boeing strategy to build partnerships with military services. “This new office represents our focus on finding innovative ways to support our military customers globally,” said David Spong, president of Aerospace Support for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. “The end result is higher levels of readiness and greater affordability for our military customers. Our success in providing those services will lead to enhanced customer satisfaction and will be a template for supporting customer operations around the globe.”
Ian Thomas, acting Boeing U.K. country executive said, “Every year, Boeing buys £1.5bn ($2.3bn) of equipment and services from the U.K. aerospace industry, including a significant amount from Scottish firms.
“This scale of investment makes Boeing the largest overseas customer of the U.K. aerospace industry after the U.S. government, supporting more than 40,000 jobs across the U.K.,” Thomas said.
The new office in Glasgow will concentrate on rapidly producing and delivering high-quality technical updates and publication services, as well as supporting the introduction of Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals, or IETMs, to the Royal Air Force Chinook fleet. A breakthrough in aircraft maintenance, IETMs consolidate thousands of pages of complex technical data on a laptop-type computer. The interactive nature of the IETMs helps maintainers by guiding them through the trouble-shooting process and quickly providing them the correct maintenance procedures.
The Glasgow operations also will focus on the intensive paper-based approval process for post-design service tasks — the changes required to technical documentation during the life-cycle of an aircraft.
“Because of our close proximity to the DLO facility in Glasgow, we are confident we can reduce a 30-day process to just a couple of days,” said Jim Brunke, general manager of Spares and Technical Data for Boeing Aerospace Support.
Three Boeing employees have been assigned to the new Glasgow office, although that number is expected to grow.
Comment: Boeing’s continued expansion of its presence in the UK could signal a major move by the company into Europe. (See Boeing UK appointment BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.4 ISSUE 39 October 3rd 2002). Buoyed by the success of its wins on JTRS and FCS in the US, could these moves signify a Boeing bid for an involvement in a UK programme such as FRES? The company had signalled an intention to build a substantial UK operation at Sheffield should it win JSF to match its already considerable presence at Salmsbur