Boeing Challenges Raytheon For European Missiles

Boeing Co. says it will team up with French and British manufacturers to develop an air-to-air missile. This means head-on competition with Raytheon Co. to supply at least $1.65 billion of missiles to a new generation of European warplanes. Boeing has moved in fast after top military contractors in Britain, France, and Italy allied as a joint missile company. The partnership between British Aerospace PLC, Aerospatiale Matra SA, and Finmeccanica SpA creates the world's No.2 missile group behind Raytheon. Aerospatiale Matra recently announced a merger with DaimlerChrysler AG of Germany. This makes it the world's third largest aerospace and defense company after Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp. Boeing and its European partners plan to develop the Meteor air-to-air missile for the Eurofighter, a long running venture between Britain, Germany, Italy, and Spain to build the continent's own warplane. Raytheon last month won U.S. government endorsement to sell its own Amraam missiles to Britain for its Eurofighters.

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