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Sat, Dec 18, 2004

Second Eurofighter Tranche Contract Inked

EADS welcomes production contract for batch of 236 aircraft

NETMA (NATO Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency) and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeuge GmbH have signed the contract covering the second tranche of Eurofighter aircraft, announced the British Minister of Defence Geoffrey Hoon on Friday in London.

"For us, Eurofighter Tranche 2 is one of the most important orders in the area of defence this year," commented Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich, the two CEOs of EADS, on the conclusion of the contract. "For EADS as one of the Eurofighter partner companies, this represents a contract volume of 4.3 billion Euros. At the same time, this contract improves the export chances of Eurofighter, a latest-generation high-tech combat aircraft that has already reached market maturity and underlines Europe's capabilities in this area. The conclusion of the contract is a significant success for EADS and its Eurofighter consortium partners and also an outstanding step towards achieving the strategic aim we have set ourselves of further expanding our defence business over the coming years."

Johann Heitzmann, CEO of the EADS Military Aircraft Business Unit, sees the achievements of the Eurofighter partners confirmed by the conclusion of this contract. "Several months of uncertainty regarding the continuation of the programme have been ended by the signing of the contract," said Heitzmann. "We now have planning certainty for the production and development work that is to come. In particular also the small- and medium-sized companies that are suppliers to this programme will benefit from this."

The Tranche 2 standard makes Eurofighter Typhoon the first European combat aircraft to satisfy the requirements of NATO and EU forces with regard to Network Enhanced Capabilities for all the air forces' wide-ranging mission spectrums in their air-to-air and air-to-ground roles. The growth of the Tranche 2 aircraft's operational capabilities is being achieved mainly thanks to new software and the integration of state-of-the-art armaments as specified by the national customers. The optimization process applying for Eurofighter shows that as a result of its "sensor to effector" systems house concept, EADS is well positioned to face technological challenges in this area.

Eurofighter Tranche 2 is the second of three elements in the umbrella contract that comprises a total of 620 aircraft for the four partner nations:  Great Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy. From tranche to tranche, an increasing degree of operational capability has been agreed for the aircraft. Of the 236 aircraft in this second production batch, the German Air Force will receive 68 and the Spanish Air Force 33, which will undergo final assembly in the EADS manufacturing plants in Germany and Spain. Delivery is scheduled from Spring 2008 onwards. In addition, Italy will receive 46 aircraft and Great Britain 89. A further 18 aircraft to Tranche 2 standard will be delivered to Austria, the first Eurofighter export customer.

In the Military Aircraft Business Unit, which is an integrated part of the EADS Defence and Security Systems Division (DS), all EADS capabilities in the areas of high-performance combat aircraft, unmanned combat air vehicles (UCAVs), manned mission aircraft and training aircraft and the ground support equipment for these systems are concentrated.

FMI: www.eads.com

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