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Boeing loses bomber appeal, but maybe not Puget Sound wor

Steve Wilhelm
16 January 2016

Even without a Boeing win, the Puget Sound area still may land some work on the bomber, said Bryan Clark, a senior fellow and military expert at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, in Washington, D.C., in an October interview with Puget Sound Business Journal.

“It will work out that Boeing will get some of that business, but in a different form than they might have hoped,” Clark said.

The defense department’s intent is that the share of work for the major defense prime contractors will “end up being almost the same, regardless of who wins it,” Clark said.

In particular the Puget Sound area’s evolution as a leading center of advanced carbon composites manufacturing could bring work, he said. This region was very much engaged in the building of the B-2 bomber, at one point employing 10,000 people here.

This strength, and the region’s relatively close proximity to the likely bomber final assembly site in Southern California, could bring even more work here than if Boeing had been building the plane in St. Louis, Clark said.

“The result may be better for Puget Sound,” he said. “What it means is that subassemblies that could have gone to another vendor had Boeing won the contract, will go to Boeing and Puget Sound.”

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