components manufacturers (such as Toray and Hosiden) because of their existing strong global market positions.
The Russian aircraft design bureaus possess considerable design capabilities. Although it appears that the Russians have been quicker to team with U.S. companies than with firms from Japan, over the long term the combination of Russian integration and design skills with Japanese capital and manufacturing know-how would seem to represent a potentially powerful combination. While the two industries have agreed to launch some small-scale collaborative activities, considerable obstacles remain to a smooth Russian-Japanese working alliance in aircraft design and manufacturing.
Even in the current tough business climate, some U.S. companies are making the long-term investments in technology and R&D necessary to retain leadership in this industry. The concern is that if current trends continue, many U.S. companies will not make these investments and large segments of the U.S. industry will face severe challenges to their survival. However, the opportunity now exists to take steps—at the corporate and national levels—that can change these trends and enable the United States to retain its technological strength, maintain a full-scale manufacturing base, and compete strongly in world markets on the basis of superior technology, design, and manufacturing performance.
By introducing advanced technologies into new aircraft while lowering manufacturing costs, U.S. companies can take advantage of continuing up-heavals in the global industry to reenergize their leadership. The keys to creating conditions in which a resurgence of U.S. leadership in aircraft manufacturing can take place are outlined in the following chapter.