I found the logic and conclusions of this article to be interesting. EADS wants to diversify their defense business so they want a chunk of the US market. For me this raised a couple of questions: Why is the US defense market so large in comparison to say the European market and how are US companies treated when competing for European acquistions.
While the US is a much larger country both in terms of population and wealth than individual EU member states it is not when compared to the EU as a whole. The difference in size of defense markets is rather determined by the collective will of member countries to invest in defense spending. If European governments invested anywhere near the same % of GDP as the US, the European market would in fact be larger than the US market.
This brings us to my second question, how are US contractors treated when selling products to European governments. There are certainly several examples of European governments purchasing US products: the UK with C-17s, F-16 sales(with licensed production) to a number of countries in the 80's and the current F-35 program. Most of these sales have been for products that didn't have a EU counterpart at the time(I am of course excluding the F-16 competition from that statement) However, most of the large procurement programs of the past 20+ years have excluded US manufactures. The programs I'm referencing are: Typhoon, Tiger, NH-90 and Galileo. Each of these programs was in fact designed to compete against US products already in service and available at known and lower costs.
My conclusion is that EADS should lobby for increased defense spending in its home market. I also think that a fair playing field should exist on both sides of the Atlantic.
Hunter, EADS has cracked the U.S. in a a couple of head-on competitions. As a matter of fact, in the past 10 years the majority of aviation contarcts have gone to foregin countries. The Army/USAF awarded a significant airlifter contract to an Italian company (name escapes me at the moment and the contract size was later reduced due to funding issues), The Army/Navy awarded a contarct to Embraer for a recon aircraft (later canceled because Embraer couldn't meet the requirements - hasn't come back for re-bid yet), AgustaWestland was awarded the Presidential Hel contract (28 aircraft) which was later canceled due to HUGE cost overruns (will soon be up for re-bid), EADS won a contract for aircraft to the Coast Guard and a significant Army helicopter award. There is another large Army contract coming up war bid and I would not be surprised if they won that one too. WE all know the USAF Tanker story and how EADS won then lost, but it is important to know that they did win it the first time. If it was so horrible, they would not have won that first time. Boeing won the CSAR contract...that was protested and canceled so that will come back for re-bid soon. For me, as a former USAF aviator, I want the best equipment to do the job and I don't care where it is made as long as it is best for the job. At the same time, each country must consider its own manufacturing capability/base...each must maintain the ability to support itself. The United States should not make any other country buy "their stuff" nor should any country do that to the United States.
The title of my post was the title of the article(3/21) I was commenting on. You might want to read it if you haven't already.