Despite a strong rebound in orders and deliveries, and despite being flush with cash reserves, the new year’s forecast for Europe’s EADS aerospace and defense group remains sorely lacking in one respect: it still can’t turn a decent profit.
The Pentagon’s decision in the third round of the KC-X competition is now expected next month. Meanwhile, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hear testimony concerning the inadvertent leak of competition-sensitive data to the competing contractors.
A French court found Continental Airlines and one of its mechanics guilty of manslaughter for their roles in the crash of an Air France Concorde SST shortly after takeoff from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport on July 25, 2000. Judge Dominique Andreassier ordered Continental to pay a €200,000 ($268,000) fine and €1 million ($1.34 million) in damages to Air France.
The U.S. Air Force’s much delayed and troubled attempts to procure a new-generation tanker hit an embarrassing snag in November, when the evaluating office inadvertently sent out technical assessments of each proposal to the opposing bidders. The documents in question were the Integrated Fleet Aerial Refueling Assessments (IFARA) that model tanker operations in various scenarios.
EADS announced “the conclusion” of talks to amend the Airbus A400M airlifter development and production contract with the seven European partner nations.
France and the UK will jointly develop a new medium-altitude long-endurance (MALE) UAV that could enter service in 2015. The two countries are also likely to combine forces on future unmanned combat air systems (UCAS), by launching a “joint technology and operational demonstration” to run for six years, beginning in 2013. The decisions form part of the cross-channel agreement between the two countries.
France and the UK signed a wide-ranging defense pact with far-reaching consequences for operational and industrial policy. The two countries will create an integrated carrier strike group and coordinate refits to ensure that one British or French aircraft carrier is always operational.
China Aviation Supplies Holding Company (CAS) signed contracts with Airbus yesterday covering the delivery of 102 aircraft, including a new firm order for 50 A320-series jets, six A330s and ten A350XWBs. The parties also confirmed an earlier order for 36 A330s, which had already found its way onto Airbus’s order books.
The EADS Barracuda UCAV technology demonstrator performed a new flight-test campaign at Goose Bay, Canada. The company flew four missions focusing on sense-and-avoid capabilities; auto-taxi systems; flight-testing of a structurally integrated antenna; and the exercising of an image exploitation chain, including an automatic target detection system. The UCAV was carrying an EO/IR sensor provided by Zeiss.
EADS has raised its order projection for its Airbus unit this year to more than 400 aircraft from its previous estimate of between 250 and 300 following a better-than-expected sales showing at last month's Farnborough airshow and indications of further strengthening in the narrowbody market in particular.