William LaPlante, the Air Force’s
acquisition executive, did not slam the door on the potential entry of
the Airbus A400M airlifter into the US market. “In general, when we talk with
Airbus, we think, the more the merrier… in terms of getting ... industry
thinking about our missions,” said LaPlante last week during a brief meeting
with reporters at the Paris Air Show in Le Bourget, France. The Air Force has
sought out Airbus’ attendance at CEO roundtables to discuss technology
solutions, he said. Airbus’ Executive Vice President for Defense and Space
Marketing and Sales Christian Scherer told Air Force Magazine at the air
show that the company is having “dialogue” with the Pentagon. Airbus is working
to “educate” US officials on the A400M’s capabilities and trying to get the aircraft
plugged into wargaming scenarios, he said. “We are at a point in time where we
believe we have such a good story, we are working ... to see
the US run some scenarios with it,” said Scherer. Interoperability should not
be a concern, as several NATO allies operate the airlifter, he said.
Daily Report: The day's top news on the US Air Force, airpower, and national security issues.
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