STT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16865 posts, RR: 51 Posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 4009 times:
Airbus is planning to possibly build a plant in the US in conjunction with a US Defense Contractor (Lockheed Martin?) to assemble or modify their Commercial aircraft for US Military use (tankers?). If they build the plant they may also assemble commercial aircraft bound for customers in the Americas.
When the USAF choose the KC-767 they told Airbus/EADS to bid again in the next round, the 100 KC-767s the Air Force is leasing is just the start. They need to replace the entire KC-135 fleet (all 550 of them), which are 40 years old.
The USAF did not rule out mixing the KC-767 orders with larger KC-330s.
JBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4490 posts, RR: 21
Reply 2, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 3914 times:
Embraer is doing somewhat of the same thing. They are opening a plant here in Jacksonville at the former Cecil Field NAS (VQQ) where final assembly on the ERJ-145 early warning airplanes (military contracts) will take place. Man, wouldn't it be great if they started building the massive US Embraer order airplanes here...but I doubt that's going to happen.
Cloudy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3802 times:
US companies have in the past set up production lines for military aircraft in customer countries overseas, and helped foreign countries build production lines for US designed aircraft. This is mainly to satisfy technology transfer and "offset" requirements. It also helps to build support for an order in a customer country. Airbus may be simply following this example.
However, this is predictated on Airbus getting US military orders. This probably will not happen in the near term. But Airbus is very good at getting orders nobody thought they would get. And their marketing people think long term.
Pre-9/11 defense cutbacks, combined with mergers and a brain-dead beauraucratic procurement process, have reduced the number of defense contractors and have cut back on competition. The Pentagon has been dissatisfied with the performance of Boeing and Lockheed on many recent contracts, but they have had little choice because there just arn't that many companies that can build major platforms even in the US. If Airbus can demonstrate to congress and the defense department that they can build planes at a good price and with a comparable (or better!) US content level than Boeing, they may have a chance. In the long term.
The US has bought foreign military equipment before - the OTO Melera 3 inch naval gun, the German 120mm gun on the M1A2 tank, and the Belgian squad automatic weapon are examples. But I have yet to hear of the US buying significant numbers of a major platform from a foreign "systems integrator" such as Airbus..... but that may change. Policymakers may end up deciding that the price of avoiding foreign suppliers so much is just to high - particularily when R&D costs keep going up. If and when someone else has a proven system we need, it is going to be more and more tempting to just buy it. Especially if there is a lot of US content in it anyway.
Shenzhen From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 1710 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 3743 times:
If Airbus decided to build A330/A340s in the United States, and I owned any of their shares, I would sell them the day of the announcement.
Lets see, build airplanes for a market that is already saturated with airplanes. The A330 was already considered too big for a tanker, what has changed. By the time the second allotment of airplanes is required, maybe the 200 seat 7e7 will be available, which should be around the same size as the 767-200. Wasn't part of the price reduction for the first 100 tankers linked to a follow-on order.
After the DOD blackballed the Paris Airshow, what the heck is EADS trying to prove by making such crazy statements?
CX747 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 4454 posts, RR: 5
Reply 7, posted (11 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 3529 times:
I understand that the company might not have the finances, but why doesn't Lockheed Martin challenge Boeing on its own? Lockheed has built widebody aircraft before and has built transports. If you want to make money, you have to spend money. I just don't see the A330 built in the U.S. of A scheme working. The 767 is the preferred aircraft due to size and weight. No matter where the A330 is produced, they can't change its "deficiances" regarding tanker operations.
"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or timid." D. Eisenhower