The US Air Force’s top acquisition executive says the service wants to do more to support the sale of American-made aircraft and parts abroad, and one proposal gaining momentum is to complete airworthiness certification even before foreign military sales (FMS) cases emerge.
William LaPlante, air force assistant secretary for acquisition, says that normally the military airworthiness certification process starts at the point of sale, but several domestic manufacturers have expressed interest it certifying their products by the air force sooner to make those items more attractive on the international market.
A downturn in domestic defence spending means more companies are looking abroad for launch customers for their new products. Textron, for example, self-funded development of its Scorpion jet without sponsorship from the Pentagon and is seeking a foreign buyer to turn it into an active programme.
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