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3 juillet 2013 3 03 /07 /juillet /2013 11:35
DSCA notifies US Congress of potential Thai Lakota sale

July 2, 2013 by Dave Majumdar-FG


Washington DC - The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) has notified the US Congress of a possible sale of six EADS North America UH-72A Lakota helicopters via the Pentagon's Foreign Military Sales mechanism. The aircraft, plus associated support equipment and training services, would cost $77 million, it says.


"This proposed sale will contribute to Thailand's goal to upgrade and modernise its military forces with a new light utility helicopter capable of meeting requirements for rotary-wing transportation, while further enhancing greater interoperability between Thailand and the USA," the DSCA says. There are offsets expected as a result of any sale.


If the sale goes ahead, US government and contractor personnel would have to go to Thailand for five weeks, initially to help field the helicopters. Contractor support would be needed for another year afterwards.


EADS North America has so far delivered more than 270 American Eurocopter-manufactured Lakotas to the US Army, with the fleet having accumulated more than 150,000 flight hours.

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14 juin 2013 5 14 /06 /juin /2013 06:20
Cost drove EADS from US Army rotorcraft demonstration

Jun. 13, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - EADS North America pulled out of the US Army's Joint Multi-Role technology demonstrator (JMR-TD) programme because the cost of developing a high-speed rotorcraft compared to the funding the service is willing to provide is enormous, says the company's top official.


"The number was set so low and the estimate we came back with to develop was so high; this was an invitation to shovel cash into an inferno," says Sean O'Keefe, chief executive of EADS North America.


The army wants the companies participating to develop complex technologies given very limited government funding over a set period of time, O'Keefe says. The maximum service commitment was $75 million over several years, which also covered flyable test articles. "We estimated the cost to be far in excess of that number by multiples," he says. "Wonderful invitation, but we passed."


EADS, O'Keefe says, will continue developing its X3 high-speed compound helicopter design for the civilian market. The offshore oil market is one example where companies would pay for speed, he says. There are also other potential markets where a high-speed civilian rotorcraft could serve, O'Keefe says.


However, O'Keefe notes that the EADS North America JMR-TD proposal was not totally based on Eurocopter's X3 prototype, but it did leverage aspects of that aircraft's technology. The X3, O'Keefe explains, was designed for a very specific purpose and could not directly be developed into an operational military aircraft.


In the future, O'Keefe says, the company could potentially return to bid on the army's follow-on Future Vertical Lift (FVL) programme, which is expected to commence after the JMR-TD prototypes have flown in 2017. "If down the road they say: 'Gee, that's really interesting, we'd like to talk to you about it,' I would say: 'Sure, let's have a discussion,'" he says. However, unless the army had firm requirements in mind, EADS would not be willing to participate in such a programme.


The FVL effort aims to replace the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk series of helicopters after 2030

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13 juin 2013 4 13 /06 /juin /2013 07:20
EADS North America renonce à son objectif d'un CA de $10 mds d'ici 2020

12/06 LesEchos.fr (Reuters)


La question budgétaire aux Etats-unis, parmi d'autres facteurs, rendent peu probables les chances d'EADS d'atteindre un chiffre d'affaires de 10 milliards hors Airbus sur le marché américain d'ici 2020, à moins d'une grosse acquisition, a déclaré mercredi son directeur général pour l'Amérique du Nord.


"A moins d'une acquisition, je ne nous vois pas atteindre ce chiffre', a déclaré Sean O'Keefe à des journalistes.


Le groupe continue de s'intéresser à d'éventuels achats aux Etats-Unis, mais il n'a fourni aucun détail sur ses cibles.

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12 juin 2013 3 12 /06 /juin /2013 11:20
EADS North America completes development of the SONEX-P portable explosive detection device

Jun 12, 2013 ASDNews Source : EADS


EADS North America has completed development of the SONEX-P portable explosive detection device, a new technology that determines whether suspicious objects contain chemical, radiological, nuclear or explosive threats.


The man-portable SONEX-P is able to identify in as little as 90 seconds both the presence and location of chemical, radiological, nuclear and explosive threats located in parcels, luggage, ordnance or abandoned bags.


A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement was started in 2011 with the Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NAVEODTECHDIV). The CRADA provided EADS North America access to NAVEODTECHDIV munitions for testing and refining of the systems detection algorithm to improve detection of live ordnance and inert ordnance. Testing and demonstration of performance were conducted at NAVEODTECHDIV and results were documented.


The system has a separate algorithm for law enforcement, homeland security and first responders who deal with suspicious packages, abandoned bags and non-ordnance explosive threats.


“With the push of a button, SONEX-P allows first responders including explosive ordnance disposal teams to identify and characterize material threats concealed in everyday objects,” said Sean O’Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO. “We are working with the Navy to customize the product and provide the greatest possible protection for disposal teams, first responders and the general public.”


Weighing 50 pounds, SONEX-P is comprised of only two elements: a portable detection head and a companion laptop computer. The portable unit can be quickly deployed in urban environments to scan unattended bags or other similarly sized threat objects. The system projects neutron particles at an object to quickly identify the type, location and mass of suspicious material.


The SONEX-P operator receives an automatic indication of a threat or no-threat condition with supporting 3-D images to aid in the response. Detection is automatic; no operator determination is required other than initial setup and placement of the unit. The system signals either a red light (threat) or a green light (no threat) in as little as 90 seconds.

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11 juin 2013 2 11 /06 /juin /2013 16:20
UH-72_Lakota2 photo US Army

UH-72_Lakota2 photo US Army

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas, June 10 (UPI)


Companies involved in production of UH-72A Lakota helicopters for the U.S. Army are protesting a procurement cut back in the Defense Department's 2014 budget.


Officials and workers from American Eurocopter, EADS North America and Turbomeca rallied Friday to protest the cuts and to press for full restoration of funding. Joining them were two U.S. congressmen.


"The Lakota helicopter program is critically important to the country's national security and in this time of severe budget cuts, must be protected," said Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Texas. "These cuts are hurtful and damaging -- they hurt families who rely on these jobs and DFW [Dallas-Fort Worth] businesses that work with the program.


"As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am proud to show my support for this program and will keep pushing for its continued production. Proposed cuts to the Lakota program are a misguided attempt to find savings in a way that would cost the Metroplex severe job loss and economic revenue."


American Eurocopter performs all engineering changes for Lakota modifications and upgrades in Grand Prairie. It also trains Lakota pilots and maintenance personnel. American Eurocopter manufactures the aircraft at a facility in Mississippi.


So far, 267 Lakota helicopters have been delivered to the Army. In the proposed budget, 31 fewer helicopters will be produced than previously planned. Additional details, however, were not disclosed.

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6 juin 2013 4 06 /06 /juin /2013 06:20
AMRDEC conceptual renderings of potential future JMR configurations

AMRDEC conceptual renderings of potential future JMR configurations

Jun. 6, 2013 by Dave Majumdar – FG


Washington DC - EADS North America is withdrawing from the US Army's Joint Multi-Role/Future Vertical Lift (JMR/FVL) programme.


"We will withdraw from further consideration for the JMR/FVL concept development effort," writes Sean O'Keefe, chief executive officer of EADS North America in a letter addressed to Heidi Shyu, assistant secretary of the army for procurement. "We deeply regret the fiscal necessity to make this decision."


O'Keefe says that EADS faces financial constraints in light of the Congressional sequestration law that automatically cuts projected US defence outlays by 10% every year for 10 years and the implementation thereof.

UH-72A Lakota photo US Army

UH-72A Lakota photo US Army

Sequestration forced the army to reduce funding for the EADS UH-72A Lakota. The army had planned to buy 31 UH-72As in Fiscal 2014 and 10 the following year, but instead now plans to buy only 10 during the next fiscal year that begins on 1 October.


O'Keefe says that his company will focus its efforts on the army's armed aerial scout programme, however the service has yet to decide if it will proceed with that procurement.


Analyst Dan Goure of the Lexington Institute says that it makes perfect sense for a company like EADS to withdraw from the JMR/FVL project given that budgets are declining and there is uncertainty about how much money will be available going forward. "Why would a company put scarce talent, even if it was being paid fully for the effort-but the government wants them to put in their own money and effort-why would they do that when the chances are increasingly dim for any kind of production programme," he says.


Moreover, foreign-owned entities like EADS North America and AgustaWestland have not had experienced a positive track record in prior dealings with the Pentagon, Goure says. "So why spend the time, effort and money on a long-shot?" he asks.


But it will not just be foreign companies that opt out of bidding for US defence tenders as the flow of cash starts to ebb, even big US defense prime contractors may start carefully weighing the opportunity cost submitting a proposal to the Pentagon. "This I think is the leading edge," Goure says. "You're going to see this happen more and more and more from defence companies including US primes."


The bottom line is that in many respects the US government is an extremely demanding customer and the cost of doing business with it may simply not be worth it, Goure says. There are other business areas for companies to invest in that generate far better returns on the dollar, he says.

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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 11:20
EADS North America Delivers 250th On-Time, On-Budget UH-72A Lakota Helicopter to US Army


Apr 26, 2013 ASDNews Source : European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company


    Combined Lakota Fleet Passes 150,000 Flight Hours, Maintains 90% Availability


The U.S. Army has fielded the 250th UH-72A Lakota helicopter delivered to Army and National Guard units by EADS North America since 2006. Every Lakota -- including an additional five produced for the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School -- has been delivered on time and on budget, by an American workforce that is more than 50 percent U.S. military veterans.


The combined Lakota fleet's operations have now exceeded 150,000 flight hours, while maintaining greater than 90 percent availability. The Lakota is the Army's newest helicopter, with the lowest cost to fly, own and operate of any U.S. military helicopter in production.


The Lakota is manufactured at EADS North America's American Eurocopter facility in Columbus, Miss.


"In today's budget environment, the Pentagon needs programs that deliver what's been promised, and we're proud to have worked with the Army to field this capability unfailingly on schedule and on cost," said Sean O'Keefe, EADS North America Chairman and CEO.


Army Lt. Col. David Cheney, the UH-72A Product Manager, stated, "The UH-72A Lakota helicopter program continues on schedule, within budget and is serving the Soldier very well. The success of this aircraft and program is a testament to EADS North America's team's determination to provide the best support for the Army and homeland security missions."


The 250th Army Lakota will be operated out of Oklahoma City by the Oklahoma National Guard. It is the latest of 54 Lakotas delivered with the Security and Support (S&S) Battalion mission equipment package, which expands the Lakota's capabilities for missions ranging from disaster response to border security operations.


The S&S configuration includes a moving map, EO/IR sensor, digital video recording capability, digital and analog downlink, and a searchlight. Army National Guard units across the country currently operate Lakotas equipped with the S&S Battalion MEP, including extensive operations along the U.S. southwest border for border security and drug interdiction.


A combination of full contractor logistics support (CLS) for the active Army and hybrid CLS for the Army National Guard enables the units to operate the Lakota in accordance with their flying hour plan. The Army program office, military units, and the industry team of EADS North America, American Eurocopter and Helicopter Support International has provided tailored program logistics to the Army and Army National Guard since 2006.


The Lakota fleet has averaged an operational availability rate greater than 90 percent for locations with full contractor logistics support, encompassing 21 different military units. Spare parts fill rate under the hybrid CLS concept supporting 33 units has averaged 97 percent.


The UH-72A is a Defense Acquisition Category (ACAT) I major defense acquisition program, and was one of the most rapid introductions of a new aircraft in the U.S. Army's history. Deliveries of the aircraft to National Guard units allow aging OH-58 and UH-1 rotary-wing aircraft to be retired, while UH-72As assigned to the active component of the U.S. Army free up UH-60 Black Hawks for assignment to combat missions.

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