The U.S. arm of Airbus Space & Defense reorganized last summer to bid for classified intelligence work. An early target reportedly will be the opportunity to sell commercial imagery to the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO). But such work is highly sensitive, and there are questions that Airbus will need to answer. Why would NRO hire a state-subsidized foreign company that has done extensive harm to the U.S. aerospace sector? Why would NRO hire a company that has conducted space business for decades in China and Russia–America’s “near peer” rivals? Why would NRO hire a company that relies on an offshore supply chain and workforce to do space business? And why would NRO hire a company that has been the target of a multi-country investigation resulting in the biggest settlement of a bribery case ever? I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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