An Anglo-French defense summit in Paris last week confirmed that the two governments will sign a risk-reduction contract soon with BAE Systems and Dassault Aviation for the Telemos Medium Altitude Long-Endurance (Male) UAV. “We look forward to taking further decisions jointly in the light of the outcomes of this risk-reduction phase to ensure that our respective sovereign requirements will be met in a cost-effective manner,” the governments added.
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 refurbishment of a government Airbus A330-200 (used mainly for the president) ran €33.2 million (about $46 million) over budget, according to a recent report from the “Cour des comptes,” the French equivalent of the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Replacement of the engines and interior upgrades are listed as the primary reasons for the cost overrun.
French president Nicolas Sarkozy in late June inaugurated Turbomeca’s new plant (named after company founder Joseph Szydlowski) in Bordes, near Pau in southwest France. The plant, a U100 million ($125 million) investment, includes a factory and design offices. Thanks to simplified production flows, it expects to halve production lead times over the next three years.
A top-level handshake in Brazil earlier this month does not necessarily mean the end of that country’s long quest to select a new fighter. Presidents Lula and Sarkozy proclaimed a strategic aerospace partnership after the French leader made a two-day state visit to Brazil.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy will be flying in a style more becoming the nation’s leader with a recent government decision to acquire an Airbus A330-200 that will be outfitted as the country’s newest head-of-state aircraft.
French aerospace orders last year remained at record levels but the long-term weakness of the U.S. dollar against the euro continues to erode profit margins and increase pressure on companies to move production away from France. Last year, just ahead of the 2007 Paris Air Show, new French President Nicholas Sarkozy took office on a pledge to address issues undermining the competitiveness of French industry.
A second export customer for the French-made Dassault Rafale combat aircraft has emerged. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has begun negotiations to replace its 63 Mirage 2000s, starting in 2012. “Thanks to its multimission capability, the Rafale is perfectly suited to the needs of defending the UAE in the years to come,” noted a statement from French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy reached some significant–though little noticed–defense arrangements when they met in London late last month. The two countries agreed to seek a single joint contract for the in-service support of the Airbus A400M airlifters that both have ordered. If achieved, this will be the first such arrangement ever concluded.
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