Leonardo DRS, the US arm of Italy’s top defense, aerospace and security contractor, has hired Trump-connected Ballard Partners for military procurement matters.
Brian Ballard, a Republican fundraiser who chaired the Trump Victory organization in Florida, heads the lobbying team that includes Daniel McFaul, who was campaign manager for ex-Florida Republican Congressman and now “Morning Joe” Trump critic Joe Scarborough.
Earlier this month, Leonardo DRS replaced Northrop Grumman as incumbent on a $65M contract from the US Navy and Japan for radars designed to detect low-flying cruise missiles. If all contract options are exercised, the pact's value could increase to $265M.
Leonardo DRS is pitching the Air Force to build its next-generation trainer aircraft. The planes would be manufactured at Alabama’s Moton Field, which is where the Tuskegee Airmen trained before being deployed to Italy during WWII. The T-100 engines would be built in Arizona and its flight simulators made in Florida.
The Leonardo Company, which changed its name from Finmeccanica in 2016, builds training aircraft for air forces in Italy, Singapore, Poland and Israel.