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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 16:50
Embattled German Minister Defends EuroHawk Decision

June 6, 2013 defense-aerospace.com

(Source: German Ministry of Defence; issued June 5, 2013)

(Issued in German only; unofficial translation by defense-aerospace.com)


Ministerial Statement on Euro Hawk Development Project to the Defence Committee


BERLIN --- This is the statement issued today by Defense Minister Thomas de Maizière regarding the Euro Hawk Armor project following the Defence Committee on 5 June 2013:

Ladies and gentlemen,

Today I have submitted to the Defence Committee the report of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Euro Hawk process. I have also presented my personal evaluation, and announced the consequences.

My evaluation of this process is as follows: The decision to continue to use this aircraft for training purposes until the end of September 2013, and at the same time not to procure production aircraft, as originally intended, is correct.

Also, this decision is not too late. Its timing is appropriate as it has prevented greater damage, and not increased it. Had the decision has been made earlier, it would not have been possible to benefit from the investment for training purposes. Therefore, the timing of the decision was also correct.

Nonetheless, the method had significant shortcomings. From the beginning, there was a design flaw at birth because of the different expectations on the American and the German sides. It began in 2002, 2004 to 2007, and in the following years.

Project management, that is the control process over the course of this project, was flawed and did not function, and my involvement was inadequate. The decision had been finally made at ministerial level. I then subsequently approved it.

This is not acceptable. Such a decision should have been made by myself.

For the future, among other consequences, we will change project management and we will organize the approval processes differently, while the participation of the Minister looks quite different.

Namely, I will regularly receive status reports on all major defense projects, not with “good weather” returns, but with detailed reporting of any problems and of proposed solutions.

We will then submit a report to the Defense and Budget Committees, so we can inform you of any problems at a time when corrective action is still possible.

I am reserving judgment on personnel consequences at the present time. These will depend on what results will be reported by the detailed review, namely in regarding management errors and such. I will then decide on appropriate actions, and they will be announced during a press conference.

Click here for the Ad Hoc Working Group report (85 PDF pages, German only).

Click here for the Minister’s report to the Defence Committee (13 PDF pages, in German only).

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