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Eurofighter CEO Seeks 25% of Pending Jet Purchases

Jun. 19, 2013 - 11:55AM   |  
By TOM KINGTON   |   Comments
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PARIS — New Eurofighter CEO Alberto Gutierrez made his debut appearance at the Paris Air Show on Wednesday, claiming he wants to sell 250 Typhoons overseas.

Gutierrez, a Spaniard who took over the four-nation industrial consortium this month from Italian Enzo Casolini, said there were global requirements for 1,000 new fighters pending, and “we want 25 percent of them.”

Major sales campaigns include the United Arab Emirates, with about 60 aircraft to be ordered, and Malaysia, with 20-30 aircraft to be purchased, said Trevor King, Eurofighter’s chief operating officer for programs.

South Korea is at the final bidding stage before ordering 40-60 fighters, he added, while Saudi Arabia is considering a second batch of Eurofighters.

Gutierrez, 51, is no stranger to the European program. Before working for six years as head of operations for Airbus Military — including overseeing the A400M, the Airbus tanker and military systems for Casa aircraft — he was head of operations at EADS Cassidian, running Eurofighter assembly lines in Spain and Germany.

With 370 aircraft delivered and 186,000 flight hours reached, the consortium has signed a deal at Paris with NETMA, the NATO Eurofighter management agency, to integrate the MBDA Meteor missile.

“In 2016-2017 the capability will be going into the fleets,” King said.

King said that improving the electronic warfare capability of the aircraft and the range of weapons available to the Eurofighter formed part of the consortium’s plan to increase sales, with the Paveway IV on the agenda after the Meteor.

Saudi Arabia is considering arming its Typhoons with the Storm Shadow, he added.

“Our roadmap does not depend on purchases from tranche 3B,” he said.

Eurofighter is also keen to move from a mechanically scanned radar to an active, electronically-scanned array version. Gutierrez would not be drawn on the time he thought it would take for European governments to fund the final development of the program.

King said the Meteor missile did not require an e-scan radar, but said the new radar would give “significant” extra capabilities when firing the missile. ■

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