The first M-346 advanced trainer for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is on schedule to be delivered by the end of the year, according to manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi (Booth J39), which is currently producing the first batch.
France’s Dassault Rafale fighter won India’s $10 billion-plus medium multi-role combat aircraft (MMRCA) contest for 126 combat jets because its direct acquisition and life-cycle costs were 22 to 25 percent lower than those of the Eurofighter Typhoon. This verdict came from “a top [Indian] defense ministry source” quoted by The Times of India newspaper in Delhi last Friday. AIN believes that the report is credible. Negotiations on the contract should be completed by October, the source added.
Oliver Andriès, From Ministries To Industry
The first NH-90 Tactical Transport Helicopter (TTH) in final operational configuration was delivered to the French Army on January 30. “This is the culmination of the most important helicopter program ever launched in Europe,” said Eurocopter CEO Lutz Bertling. Earlier deliveries of the TTH version to Australia, Germany and Sweden attracted criticism in those countries for various deficiencies. But Eurocopter said that the final configuration includes field-tested avionics that enable the helicopter to carry out its missions night and day with no major restrictions.
Surprise, surprise: Airbus CEO Tom Enders is to be the new chief executive of the European airframer’s parent group EADS, succeeding Louis Gallois, who is due to step down—at the end of his mandate—after the company’s annual general meeting on May 31.
The Neuron UCAV demonstrator was officially unveiled last week inside a hangar at Istres airbase in southern France to representatives of the six governments funding the €400 million ($520.4 million) effort. France, Italy and Sweden each produced UCAV-like flying prototypes before joining Greece, Switzerland and Spain on the Neuron project in 2006.
The EADS board of directors has chosen Tom Enders to assume the role of CEO when Louis Gallois steps down at the end of his mandate on May 31. Now the CEO of Airbus, Enders will take over EADS for a new five-year term under the company’s bylaws.
Starting 2012 with a record backlog of airliner orders, Airbus remains unconcerned that fall-out from anticipated capital exposure by banks to Europe’s debt crisis could undermine its position.
EADS’s goal of maintaining equal revenues at its civil and military businesses continues to be compromised by the stellar success of its Airbus division. The European group’s soon-to-retire president and CEO, Louis Gallois, acknowledged as much on January 17 at the EADS New Year Press Conference in Hamburg, Germany.
Airbus has hailed 2011 as a record year for both orders and deliveries. Tom Enders, the European airframer’s president and CEO, told a January 17 joint press conference with parent group EADS that 2012 will see Airbus facing further challenges to streamline production rates and supply-chain issues, while also focusing on keeping the development of the new A350XWB widebody on track following the November 2011 confirmation of a program delay.