Crash and burn: EADS CASA bid for JCA goes down in flames
The long-fought political warfare campaign to sell the Spanish socialist-built C-295 to the Pentagon has gone down in flames.
According to Defense Industry Daily, the Army and Air Force have chosen the C-27J Spartan to become the new Joint Cargo Aircraft, known as JCA, as a standardized medium-hauler. Apart from a few blogs and some specialized military newsletters, the JCA has gotten little attention in the public debate, though the aggresive efforts of Senator Richard Shelby (R-Alabama) to push the EADS CASA C-295 on DoD are legendary. EADS promised to assemble the planes in Shelby's state, leading observers to comment on the senator's abuse of national security interests for pork-barrel purposes.
EADS and its US-based front group, EADS North America, have expended a lot of energy lobbying for the C-295 - a plane the company simultaneously tried to sell to Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez over strenuous US objections. (See montage of the EADS North America chief with Chavez.)
This is another huge loss for EADS. The deal, which could be worth as much as $7 billion, includes the purchase of 70 C-295s for the Air Force and 75 for the Army.