Tidbits from the press conference today by Louis Gallois, CEO of EADS:
On the Indian combat aircraft competition:
A decision should be taken this summer. Most of the technical evaluation of the competing aircraft from Russia, the Rafale, the Eurofighter and the F-18 is now done and they are now evaluating the offsets. There is no short-list for the moment and we are not certain whether there will be one.
On the NH90:
For the first time we feel we are taking control of the industrial process...23 different versions and 6 production centres! We are progressively coming out of the woods.
On South Africa's participation in the A400M:
negotiations have not been concluded.
Two South African companies -- private-sector enterprise Aerosud and Denel Saab Aerostructures (DSA), 80%-owned by state-owned defense industrial group Denel, 20% by Swedish aerospace group Saab -- were given a work-share when South Africa signed up for eight aircraft. When it pulled out because of delays and cost hikes the question arose as to what would happen to this work-share?
Aerosud is responsible for the nose fuselage linings, the cargo hold linings, and the cockpit linings, the cockpit rigid bulkhead and the nose fuselage galleys. But also for the wing tips, which are significant because they will contain elements of the aircraft’s defense aids subsystem.
DSA is responsible for the top shells for the center fuselage section, one in front of and one behind the wing box, and the wing/fuselage fairings. The vertical tail fin sword and ribs work package has already been taken away from DSA, but South Africa's “Engineering News” quotes DSA CEO Ismail Dockrat as saying that “we are confident that the fuselage top shell and wing/fuselage fairing work packages will remain with DSA and we think there is a 50:50 chance we will get the [tail] sword and ribs back.”