The U.S. Defense Department needs to be more open to purchasing foreign-made weapons and equipment, U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said.
During a Feb. 15 speech at the Atlantic Council in Washington, Carter noted he saw Army UH-72 Lakota helicopters this week while at the Pentagon helipad. The aircraft are built by European defense giant EADS in the United States.
“We have to be open to that,” he said. “It’s good for competition, good for technology.”
Carter, who previously served as the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, said there are administrative factors that make this difficult.
“There are still barriers in our administrative system to tapping in effectively and efficiently to what really is a pretty capable, and certainly in some sectors more capable than ours, industrial base in Europe,” he said. “We know where they are. We would like to work with them. We do work with them.
“More of this goes on under the layer of the prime contractor than you might imagine,” he continued. “There is a very substantial transatlantic trade in subsystems, parts and that kind of thing, all to the benefit of everyone.”