EADS to ask Germany to order Talarion drones-paper


EADS is set to offer to waive any rights to damages from cuts to Eurofighter jet orders if some countries buy Talarion drones and sign maintenance deals, a German newspaper reported.

The Financial Times Deutschland on Wednesday cited two people familiar with the matter as saying that Stefan Zoller, head of EADS’ defence and security unit Cassidian, will propose such a deal to German Defence Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

According to an internal document obtained by Reuters last month, Maiziere plans deep cuts to Germany’s military orders as part of sweeping reforms to the Bundeswehr — its armed forces — including a reduction in Eurofighter orders, Reuters reports.

The note detailed plans to cut by 37 to 140 the order for Eurofigher aircraft, to reduce an order for Puma tanks to 350 from 410 and to slash an order for Tiger combat helicopters to 40 from 80. De Maiziere also wants to reduce the number of NH-90 helicopters to 80 from 120.

EADS has spent years developing the Talarion unmanned aerial vehicle at its own expense in the hope of winning an order from the project’s instigators France, Germany and Spain.

However, France’s Dassault Aviation and Britain’s BAE Systems have stepped up plans for their own drone under a Franco-British defence pact signed last year, provoking anger and frustration from EADS.