IOMAX has held high-level talks with the Egyptian Ministry of Defence (MoD) to safeguard an expected sale of armed turboprop aircraft from being poached by its Air Tractor and L3 Technologies competitors, a company official told Jane's.
The North Carolina-based IOMAX has for some months been negotiating with the Egyptian MoD to support and upgrade 12 AT-802s that have been gifted by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), at the same time as looking to sell the country 10 of its latest Archangel Block 2 Border Patrol Aircraft (BPA). However, emergency talks have been held after IOMAX discovered that L3 was trying to use the US government to have Egypt buy the AT-802L that it has developed with Air Tractor instead.
"We have found that Air Tractor and L3 have been misrepresenting their product in Egypt, but luckily we found this out before it had gone through the [Defense Security Cooperation Agency] DSCA, the State Department and the [US Air Force] USAF [approval process]. We have now corrected that narrative, and are in the final stages of discussions with the Egyptians for the sale of the Archangel," the IOMAX official told Jane's.
According to the official, Air Tractor and L3 had been looking to sell their AT-802L into Egypt on the basis that it was already fielded and in service with the UAE, whereas in fact this is the IOMAX AT-802 and its successor Archangel. "To say the Egyptians were dismayed when they realised Air Tractor and L3 had never built or much less fielded an armed AT-802, and in addition were not the ones who build the current Archangel, would not be an overstatement," he said.
Although IOMAX told Jane's that it had corrected the narrative with the Egyptians, it noted that this was not before the country's MoD had submitted a sole source letter of recommendation (LOR) request to the US government for the AT-802L based on its misunderstanding of the situation.
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