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In the United States, the world’s biggest single defense market, the Pentagon is looking to trim some $100 billion of savings from personnel and procurement over the next five years. In Britain, Europe’s largest market, the government is considering cuts of up to 20 percent.

Mr. Wheeldon said defense “worries are more significant than at any of the other shows I’ve attended.”

“Cuts are the order of the day, rightly or wrongly, as Western governments seek to pull back on their expenditure,” he said.

Giulio La Scala, business development manager at Northrop Grumman Italia S.p.A, said several programs were suffering.

“We are living in a period in crisis,” Mr. La Scala said as he manned the company’s display stand at Farnborough. “So many of the major products have been delayed or there has been a restriction on the number of aircraft that they are flying.”

Airbus’ long-delayed A400M military transport plane is providing a high-profile symbol of the problems facing the defense sector.

Britain already has scaled down its order for the four-engine military transport, which will take part in the daily flying display at Farnborough.

Airbus expects to start delivering A400Ms sometime after December 2012, about four years behind schedule and 50 percent over budget because of technical glitches. The original seven customer nations for the aircraft —Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey — agreed with Airbus parent European Aeronautic Defense & Space Co. in March to spend an additional 3.5 billion euros ($4.53 billion) to save the project after months of bickering about who should pay for cost overruns.

Analysts also will be watching for developments in the bitter Boeing-Airbus battle to win a $35 billion contest to provide aerial tankers to the U.S. Air Force. The World Trade Organization ruled earlier this month that European governments gave Airbus illegal subsidies for the project.

The show runs July 19-25 at an airfield about 30 miles west of central London.

Associated Press writers Emma Vandore and Robert Barr contributed to this story.