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Eurofighter: EADS starts exclusive contract negotiations with Austria

Confirms Eurofighter as backbone of European air defence

Vienna/Amsterdam/Munich, 02 July 2002

EADS welcomes the decision by the Austrian Federal Government to start contract negotiation for procuring up to 24 Eurofighter combat aircraft.

EADS CEOs Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich, commented: "The Eurofighter provides the Austrian Bundesheer with the most up-to-date fighter aircraft, gives a boost to the Austrian economy and furthers European integration.”

“We are very pleased that the Austrian Government has selected a European product that offers the best capabilities. This decision will also send out a signal to other potential customers. In doing so, Austria has also strengthened Eurofighter's position as the future central backbone of a joint European air defence.

Along with the Skynet5/Paradigm decision by the UK Government earlier this year, this new win for Eurofighter prooves EADS products are highly competitive in the face of strong transatlantic contenders."

The EADS CEOs added: “The momentum with Eurofighter, combined with the recent procurement decisions on the A400M military transport aircraft and the NH90 transport helicopter are examples of positive evolution and integration in the European defence.

Aloysius Rauen, President and CEO of EADS Military Aircraft, emphasised that EADS and the Eurofighter consortium had not only offered the most advanced product but also presented the most convincing offer for participation of Austrian industry in the broadest areas of high technology. "EADS will be a reliable partner to Austria."

"The replacement of the Draken, which are approaching the end of their operational lives, with the most up-to-date multirole combat aircraft, the Eurofighter, represents a quantum leap for the Austrian Bundesheer," stated Rauen. "Together with all the partners in the consortium, EADS Military Aircraft will ensure that the Eurofighter aircraft ordered by the Austrian Government will be delivered and enter into service without a hitch and in accordance with the contractual agreements. It goes without saying that the offset business agreed on in order to strengthen the Austrian economy and in particular small and medium-sized businesses will be realised in the correct manner," added Rauen.

Eurofighter is a collaborative venture among EADS and the other partners in the consortium, Alenia Aerospazio and BAE Systems. The air forces of Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom have placed orders for 620 Eurofighter aircraft (plus options). The first aircraft to enter operational service will be delivered to the customers in the fourth quarter 2002.

With turnover of EUR 30.8 billion in 2001 and more than 100,000 employees, EADS is Europe’s largest aerospace company and the second largest in the world. EADS business operations cover the civil aeronautics, helicopters, space, military transport and combat aircraft sectors as well as defence technology and services. EADS has a number of holding interests, including 80 percent in Airbus, 75 percent in the space company Astrium, 100 percent in the helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter, 43 percent in the Eurofighter programme and 37.5 percent in the missile producer MBDA.

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