Airbus Defence and Space officials see a strong market for the Eurofighter and other company aircraft as it attempts to expand more deeply into foreign markets. (Deborah Stott / Airbus)
BERLIN — Airbus Defence and Space aims to broaden its markets outside its so-called home countries and wants to promote development of a European MALE UAV.
Currently, Airbus Defence and Space still sells 60 percent of its products in its home countries of Germany, France, UK and Spain, and 40 percent elsewhere.
“Our ambition is to reverse that in a few years,” Christian Scherer, head of marketing and sales, said at the division’s press conference at ILA 2014 today. He notes that the defense budgets in the home countries have experienced minimal growth or even declined.
“The demand for advanced aircraft is growing and Airbus has the capability to address it,” Scherer said. Asia-Pacific will be the largest market for military aircraft until 2018, he said. But even after excluding essentially closed markets, such as China, Russia and North America, and the home countries, that still leaves a potential market estimated at 34 percent of the world’s share.
With planes like the A400M, Eurofighter or the MRTT multirole transport tanker, Airbus Defence and Space offers a variety of aircraft with unique capabilities, he said.
Scherer admitted that this increased focus on foreign markets could affect employment, which currently is about 48,000 in the home countries and around 8,000 elsewhere. According to Scherer, growth can only be achieved by creating more employment in foreign countries.
According to Scherer, the division has a healthy order backlog with steady production out to 2017. Domingo Ureña-Raso, head of military aircraft, told journalists that the company had an order backlog of 505 aircraft. He also sees future potential for the Eurofighter and announced the company would strengthen and refocus its marketing efforts.
“We must better communicate its very good capabilities,” he said
One of these capabilities is the new active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, which the company has integrated into the plane at its own costs.
“AESA radar is the basis for the global sale,” Thomas Müller, head of electronics, said.
When asked if there would be a contract with the German government in sight, he said, “I am hopeful that we have good news in the summer break and a contract in the second half of the year.” ■