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.
DGA, the French arms procurement agency, last year spent €9.87 billion ($12.1 billion) on equipment orders for the French armed forces under the country’s 2003-2008 defense budget. This accounted for a 15.3-percent increase over 2003 investments and included €1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in research funding.
Ultra Electronics Controls (Stand A544) has been selected by Airbus to supply active noise and vibration control on the A400M military transport aircraft. The contract is valued at approximately $60 million, the UK-based company said here.