EADS welcomes go-ahead from Bundestag for second tranche of Eurofighters
* Four-nation contract for 236 aircraft about to be concluded
* Added value for air forces through extended system performance
Munich, 02 December 2004
"With today's approval from the Budget Committee of the German Bundestag, on the German side the way has been opened up for the signatures to be set to the long-awaited four-nation call-off contract for the second batch of Eurofighter aircraft," Rainer Hertrich, Co-CEO of EADS, stated on Thursday, commenting on the parliamentary release of funds for Eurofighter procurement.
Tom Enders, CEO of the Defence and Security Systems Division of EADS (DS), underscored the positive signal this decision would send out for the ongoing final deliberations of the other participating nations. "This is a good day for the NATO and EU partner air forces of Germany, Great Britain, Italy and Spain, who
will now receive a further total of 236 modern fighter aircraft.
Furthermore, as the aircraft are equipped with the latest information and data transmission systems, complete compatibility with the global military information, command and control networks within the European and transatlantic defence alliances is ensured. Eurofighter is thus the first European combat aircraft that without reservation meets the requirements of the NATO and EU forces relating to Network Enhanced Capabilities."Johann Heitzmann, who heads the Military Aircraft Business Unit within DS, expressed relief at today's Bundestag decision, which means that several months of uncertainty regarding the continuation of the programme have now come to an end and the necessary planning security for all involved is well on track. "Through this parliamentary approval, the German side has fulfilled all the preconditions to enable the contract between the contracting authority NETMA and Eurofighter GmbH, which had already been initialled on 24 November, to be signed before the end of the year. This is an important milestone for the Eurofighter consortium and the European aeronautics industry including its small and medium-sized companies, which are also participating in the programme as suppliers," said Heitzmann.
Tranche 2, as now approved by the Budget Committee of the Bundestag, is the second sub-contract within the umbrella contract for a total of 620 aircraft destined for the air forces of the four partner nations. Of the 236 aircraft in this production batch, the German Air Force will receive 68 and the Spanish Air Force 33, which will undergo final assembly in the EADS manufacturing plants in Germany and Spain. The tasks for Tranche 2 include both production and development for the extended air-to-ground mission capability of the Eurofighter, which will involve integration of state-of-the-art precision weapons for this role.
The four partner nations' air forces have already received 34 of the 148 Eurofighter aircraft in the first production tranche. Currently a further 50 are on the industry's final assembly lines and the others are at various stages of series production.
In the Military Aircraft Business Unit, which is an integrated part of the EADS Defence and Security Systems Division (DS), are concentrated all the EADS capabilities in the areas of high-performance combat aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), manned mission aircraft and training aircraft and the ground support equipment for these systems.
With revenues of approx. € 5.2 bn in 2003 and roughly 24,000 employees across nine nations, DS forms the defence pole within EADS. It offers integrated systems solutions to the new challenges confronting armed forces and homeland security units. It is active in the areas of military aircraft, missile systems, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) systems with manned and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), battlefield management systems, defence electronics, sensors and avionics, and related services.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2003, the Group generated revenues of € 30 billion and employed a workforce of more than 109,000.
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