Pratt & Whitney boss sees long-term strength

Associated Press Modified: May 2, 2012 at 1:15 pm •  Published: May 2, 2012

WINDSOR LOCKS, Conn. (AP) — Pratt & Whitney expects military and commercial aerospace business will improve, but not for a while, the president of the jet engine manufacturer said Wednesday.

David Hess, president of the subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., told reporters at the company's annual media day that sales are expected to double, to $24 billion, by the end of the decade.

"This is not some aspirational goal," he said. "This is math."

But the East Hartford, Conn., company must first get through a few years in the short-term as the military shifts to new fighter jets that require different engines, he said.

"We just have to navigate through a couple of transitional years here in the business," Hess said.

High fuel costs and the weak economic recovery also are pressuring airlines and military spending cuts threaten to slice into sales by defense contractors.

Pratt & Whitney's purchase of Rolls-Royce from a joint venture that makes engines for the Airbus A320 will boost engine deliveries from 5,000 in 2011 to 8,000 in 2018. The higher engine sales also are expected to establish a "very lucrative aftermarket" that will continue to grow through the end of the decade, he said.

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