Airbus denies La Tribune report on Aerosud, DSA A400M workshare reprisal
Written by Leon Engelbrecht, Thursday, 26 November 2009
Airbus Military is denying a report in today's La Tribune that its parent, the European defence conglomerate EADS may cancel industrial contracts in South Africa tied to the A400M Loadmaster strategic transport project as a reprisal for the country pulling an order for eight of the aircraft.
The paper did not say where it obtained the information.
“There are currently no plans to withdraw work packages from SA," Airbus said in a statement this afternoon.
"Airbus enjoys strong and valuable partnerships with South Africa and its suppliers in the local aerospace industry. At the same time, Airbus is strengthening its ties with South African academia and research institutes, several of which are engaged in Airbus’ global Research & Technology programme to identify and develop new technologies for eco-efficient aircraft.”
The company this morning announced the expansion of an aeronautics research and technology development partnership with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
US news service Bloomberg reported Le Tribune valued the SA workshare that would be lost at about 400 million euros (R4.4 billion) through partnership agreements with South African state-owned defence contractor Denel Saab Aerostructures (DSA) and private aviation concern Aerosud.
The La Tribune alleged relations between EADS and South Africa were strained as a result of the cancellation that came at a key time in the programme – as the prototype was being readied for an imminent first flight.
The paper added “the letter of cancellation of the contract ... greatly surprised the European group.”
Noteworthy was that the paper put the worth of the SA A400M order at 1.5 billion euro (R16,8 billion), up from the 837 million euro (R9.6 billion) deal signed in 2005 that 100% EADS-subsidiary Airbus Military has said was the only price on the table.
Now-suspended Armsor CEO Sipho Thomo had put the price at R47 billion, while defence minister Lindiwe Sisulu put it at R30 billion at a press conference to announce the cancellation and a Cabinet spokesman had it at R40 billion.
Sisulu, DSA and Aerosud has previously said they did not expect fall-out from the cancellation.
The minister's spokesman Ndivhuwo Mabaya this morning said the La Tribune report appeared speculative. “May?” he said of the operative verb. “It is difficult to comment on speculation,” he said.
“The impact of the ... cancellation … will have little impact in the immediate future on DSA as the aircraft is still in development phase.,” DSA CE Lana Kinley told defenceWeb earlier this month.
She has previously told defenceWeb DSA expected revenue of R13 billion from its A400M activities over the next 15 years. This is significantly more than the figure in the French paper.
“...the status quo prevails and I ... have no further comments (on) this issue,” she said this morning.
Aerosud MD Paul Potgieter said such “a reaction from Airbus would be understandable, and that there is a risk to SA industry is very real, but the Aerosud position is that one must under the present very fluid circumstances take care not to react to rumours – our position continues to be that it is premature to comment. I personally see a long process ahead of us all.”
Potgieter's company's workshare is estimated at R1.5 billion.
Defence analyst Helmoed-Römer Heitman said he still doubted that EADS or Airbus Military would pull any work from Aerosud, “which is a long-standing supplier to Airbus”.
He said they “would not want to spoil a perfectly good relationship, and it would make no sense at all to do so.
“I also doubt that EADS/Airbus Military would pull the design work from DSA at this point in the project. That would only serve to incur further delay, cost and risk, which would make no sense in a project that is already over-budget and over-schedule.”
Heitman said, however, he would not be surprised “if they declined to place further planned A400M work (or even other work, if any) with Denel or pulled the bulk of the A400M manufacturing work, redistributing it among the other project partner nations.
“Here it is important to remember that there is not a similar relationship to that with Aerosud; that Denel is a government entity (Saab only has 20%) and it is the government that pulled out of its half of the overall deal; and that some of the work packages allocated to South Africa were actually taken away from other development partners at the time. Those partners will want that work back.”
Pic: A400M MSN 001 poweringup all four engines for the first time last week. First flight is now anticipated before Christmas
- New boss for Airbus military aircraft division
- Boeing plane deliveries hit record; Airbus wins on orders
- RAF gets its first A400M
- France flies A400M to CAR for the first time
- South Africa could get back into the A400M hangar
- Over 31 000 new commercial aircraft needed in next 20 years - Airbus
- Airbus, Denel Aerostructures, Aerosud agreement strengthens local industry
- Airbus hits 1,001 orders this year, net sales lag Boeing
- Airbus supports SA research into hydrogen fuel cells
- Denel Aerostructures pursuing commercial aerospace work
European Data Relay System confirms services for Copernicus in co-operation with European Commission
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 26 February 2015
An agreement was reached with the European Commission for the provision of European Data Relay System services to the EU Copernicus programme
Paramount Group announces multi-million dollar contract for production of world-leading combat vehicles in Jordan
by Paramount Group, 25 February 2015
Paramount Group has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract for the production of the combat vehicles in Jordan.
Paramount Group to announce new deals, partnerships, technologies at IDEX 2015
by Paramount Group, 24 February 2015
The company will announce new deals, partnerships and technologies at the Middle East defence exhibition this week.
Poynting Holdings to acquire leading US-based antenna company, ARA
by Poynting Antennas, 20 February 2015
Antenna Research Associates is considered almost a replication of Poynting DS, but with more than 90% of sales being in the USA.
DSI offers sniper training with Braddick Mk X sniper rifles
by Decisive Solutions International, 17 February 2015
Decisive Solutions International has the agency and distributorship for the Braddick Mk X Special Forces Sniper Rifle, a .338 Lapua Magnum sniping system.
Saab to supply key components in support of US Marine Corps Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar programme
by Saab, 16 February 2015
The company will supply key components in support of the US Marine Corps Ground/Air Task Oriented Radar programme.