Jun 20, 2011 By Robert Wall AviationWeek.com
PARIS - After a lull period, EADS North America is seeing increased interest from the Pentagon about a potential purchase of Airbus Military C-212 light transports.
There is “intensifying interest” in the last month for the C-212 to potentially serve as a new light mobility aircraft, says Sean O’Keefe, CEO of EADS N.A. The program outline is still emerging, but O’Keefe says it could entail the purchase of 50-100 aircraft.
One of the drivers of twin-engine C-212 interest is a recognition that doing the mission with a single-engine aircraft is not suitable.
O’Keefe says EADS N.A. also is eyeing a special operations command requirement for transport aircraft. The C-212 is one of the aircraft the special operations community will be evaluating, he says.
Still unclear is what the commercial strategy would be for the U.S. program, including whether the aircraft would be assembled in the U.S.