Boeing will reveal more details here today about the NewGen Tanker, its entry for the third round of the U.S. Air Force KC-X competition. In the war of words accompanying the long-running and ill-starred contest, Boeing has not previously specified exactly how it will add a digital 787-style cockpit and a new fly-by-wire boom to the 767 airframe. Rival contender EADS North America (EADS NA) has again bid the A330MRTT, as the KC-45.
EADS will receive an extra €2 billion to continue the A400M program, as well as a loan of €1.5 billion to be repaid as a levy on future exports of the airlifter. An ”understanding” with the eight European partner nations also includes forgiveness of all late delivery penalties to date, and an acceleration of pre-delivery payments.
At a dramatic new year press conference held beneath the second A400M in the final assembly building in Seville, Spain, the chief executive officers of EADS and Airbus declared that they would stop funding the program at the end of this month.
Defense ministers from the seven A400M partner nations are heading for Seville next week for a crucial meeting with the EADS and Airbus leadership. French Defense Minister Herve Morin urged the airframer to be “transparent and precise” about the extent of delays to the troubled European airlifter.
When EADS chief executive Louis Gallois briefed the world’s press just before the show he was taking to the podium against a backdrop of confusion over what caused the loss of an Air France Airbus A330 on June 1. “Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of AF447,” he began. “Even if the airshow is darkened by the accident, I think we have a great show ahead of us.
EADS Airbus has proposed major revisions to its contract with seven European nations for the A400M airlifter, including a delay in the first deliveries until 2012. The company still has no idea when the first flight might take place, although the C-130 testbed for the A400M’s huge TP400 turboprop engines did finally get off the ground last month.
Socata–the Tarbes, France-based manufacturer of the TBM 850 turboprop single–will be majority owned by French-based aerostructure specialist Daher under an agreement reached yesterday with Socata parent company EADS. The transaction amount was not disclosed. Daher is acquiring a 70-percent stake in Socata and has an option to buy the remaining 30 percent in three years.
Recent industry scuttlebutt that Daher Aerospace will take a majority stake in EADS Socata is likely to be confirmed next month following “exclusive negotiations” between the two companies announced last month.
EADS is going global, but not leaving its European roots behind. That message from the company’s management team reverberated this week as it forges ahead with restructuring efforts in a difficult economic climate.
Leaders of Europe’s aerospace industry met with the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) at its Frankfurt headquarters on July 10 to express their “deep concern regarding the impact on their industry of the rapid and extreme fluctuation of the U.S. dollar compared to the euro,” according to the AeroSpace and Defense Industries Association of Europe (ASD).