Saab Avitronics has succeeded in an intense competition to supply the Airbus A400M military transport with its lifetime monitoring system, the first of which is due for delivery in 2009. The revenue from this deal could exceed $7.1 million and last for more than 10 years. Production of the LTMS will be conducted at the Saab Avitronics plant in Centurion, one of three it operates in South Africa in addition to four in Sweden.
The next 30 days or so will be critical to the future of Airbus and its EADS parent company as top executives struggle to push through the core elements of the European airframer’s Power8 restructuring plan.
Airbus Military is offering to supply some A400M tactical airlifters to NATO on a “fractional ownership” basis. The proposal is designed to help smaller European countries that cannot afford to own such aircraft but that have been negotiating a similar pooling scheme (through NATO) with Boeing for the C-17.
It has been a busy year for the Airbus Military A400M program, which has seen the first major components of the European airlifter reach the final assembly site at Seville, Spain, the first run of the TP400-D6 turboprop at Istres, France and–until the beginning of March–the successful achievement of all critical milestones.
Parker Aerospace companies are supplying a wide range of systems and components to airframes that range from the Airbus A380 and Boeing 787 airliners to the unmanned combat aircraft, including the first inert gas generating system (IGGS) for an Airbus aircraft.
Europrop International (EPI) performed the first TP400-D6 engine control and monitoring system (CMS) test in Villaroche late in May, the consortium announced just before the show. The TP400 is the turboprop engine designed for the Airbus A400M military transport aircraft.
Aircraft windows specialist PPG Aerospace Transparencies is to supply Bell/Agusta and Airbus. Bird-impact tests have been completed on three windshield configurations, claimed to be among the largest in aviation, designed for the Bell/Agusta AB139 helicopter.
Rohde & Schwarz–supplier of the VHF/UHF transceivers, based on its M3AR family, for the first batch of Eurofighter Typhoons–will also supply updated versions of the same radio communication equipment for the second batch of 236 aircraft. The German company will modernize radios, which will include a new data modem, together with partners Selenia Communications and Indra Sistemas.
In his swan song as the outgoing chairman of French aerospace industry association GIFAS last month, Philippe Camus called 2004 a “satisfactory year in a difficult environment.” He said prospects for the country’s aerospace and defense firms are brighter for 2005 with greater volumes of new orders flowing in–especially from commercial airliner and business aircraft programs–and exports achieving record levels.
Just before the 2003 Paris Air Show, the long-running saga of the Airbus Military A400M finally resulted in a definitive launch for the project, when seven European nations signed up to purchase 180 of the military transports.