Chinese to Compete for Future Marine One Contract
February 10, 2011 —The state-run China Aviation Industry Corp., known as AVIC, has teamed with a small California-based aircraft company to possibly bid for U.S. defense contracts including the future replacement for the Marine One Presidential helicopter fleet. AVIC, which purchased a share of Epic Aircraft last year and is the producer of the J-20 stealth fighter, is working with U.S. Aerospace Inc. to offer up its AC-313 helicopter, its largest homegrown helicopter.
Whether AVIC could convince U.S. political leaders to allow Chinese participation in defense contracts is not deterring its plans as the company and U.S. Aerospace are also planning to offer AVIC’s L-15 jet trainer as a replacement for the U.S. Air Force’s T-38. According to the Wall Street Journal the contract to replace the T-38 would be lucrative as the U.S. is looking to replace 400 jet trainers and its allies are looking to replace an additional 600. It may be a tough competition as AVIC’s attempts to compete in other U.S. sectors such as energy and telecommunications have been thwarted in the past.