Italy’s Finmeccanica, which owns 50 percent of AgustaWestland, reportedly plans to become sole owner of the Anglo-Italian helicopter company by buying London-based GKN’s 50-percent share. The statement came at GKN’s annual meeting, where stakeholders blamed AgustaWestland for causing interim profits to fall “somewhat below” those achieved a year before.
MBDA, the missile manufacturer owned by BAE Systems, EADS and Finmeccanica, has appointed Antoine Bouvier as its new chief executive. He replaces Marwan Lahoud. Bouvier was most recently chief executive officer of EADS Astrium Satellites, a post he took up in 2002, and before that he held senior positions at ATR culminating in his becoming chief executive in 1998.
The L-3 Communications Integrated Systems-led C-27J team, including partners Alenia Aeronautica, GMAS (a joint L-3/Alenia company) and Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, comes to Le Bourget on a high, having landed the potentially huge Joint Cargo Aircraft competition last Wednesday. The Pentagon announced on June 13 that the team would build the C-27J Spartan to fulfill a joint U.S.
On October 29, AgustaWestland introduced the A119 Koala at its new home in Philadelphia, which includes 43,000 sq ft of hangars, avionics bays, manufacturing and completion space. The new facility, which hugs the suburban Northeast Philadelphia Airport, was built in a record seven months for $6.8 million, while employees trained in Vergiate, Italy. Total investment, including relocation, will exceed $12 million.
The biggest question remaining about Europe’s homegrown satellite navigation project appears to be not whether the satnav network will ever be built but rather who will run the multibillion-dollar Galileo system after the first of its 30 satellites are launched later this year.
The Dassault group is set to sell its 5.7- percent share in Thales, the defense electronics group. “Is there any interest in staying in? My reply is no,” Dassault Aviation chief executive Charles Edelstenne told journalists on Friday.
BAE Systems has all but abandoned Europe. The British defense conglomerate is putting its money into North America, where the budgets are large and the risks are low. But the U.S. government has imposed major bureaucratic controls on all foreign entities that seek to share defense technology. So can BAE ever become a truly integrated transatlantic company?
For more than a decade Italy’s Alenia Aeronautica dreamed of joining Airbus only to have its advances rejected by the group’s French, German and British shareholders. So the subsidiary of the diverse Finmeccanica group has taken to courting partnerships in other countries such as Russia, Greece and Turkey, while increasing its commitment to serving as a Tier 1 supplier to Airbus’ rival Boeing.
While AgustaWestland (Booth No. 1320) continues the integration of its two ancestral helicopter companies–Italy’s Agusta and the UK’s Westland, joined together under Italian industrial giant Finmeccanica in 2000–it is also concentrating on presenting a single corporate face in the marketplace.
Alenia CEO Giovanni Bertolone said that his company’s partnership with Sukhoi for the Superjet 100 regional airliner could expand to include other businesses within the Finmeccanica group and a potential support role for the EADS/Alenia-owned Avions de Transport Regional (ATR).