DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Leonardo is widely considered the dark horse for the two major U.S. military aerospace competitions in which it’s currently competing: the T-X trainer competition and the UH-1N Huey helicopter replacement program, where it is teamed with Boeing.

But while Lorenzo Mariani, the company’s new chief commercial officer, stopped short of saying he was confident in a win for both opportunities, he seemed pleased with recent changes made to its U.S. subsidiary, Leonardo DRS.

“DRS has gone through a very bright reorganization and it has made the company more effective than a bunch of the companies in the U.S. And this was also a prerequisite in that market,” he told reporters during a Nov. 13 briefing at the Dubai Airshow.

Winning the U.S. Air Force’s T-X trainer contest would be a “game-changer” in the U.S. and for the whole business, he said. In that competition, Leonardo DRS offered the T-100, a modified version of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master, which is already in service in Italy, Israel and Singapore.