PARIS — Airbus has appointed Bruno Even as CEO of the Airbus Helicopters unit, with the executive taking up the senior post April 1, the parent company announced Wednesday.

Even will take over from Guillaume Faury, who will go on to be president of the Airbus commercial aircraft unit, the European archrival of Boeing.

Even comes from Safran, where he was CEO of the helicopter engines unit. Before that, he was chief executive of the group’s electronics and defense business.

Even graduated from the elite École Polytechnique university, then joined the French Defence Ministry where he worked on the Helios II military spy satellite. He went on to work at the Foreign Ministry as technical adviser for the director of strategic affairs, security and disarmament.

Even would “continue our successful improvement journey in a very demanding business environment,” Airbus CEO Tom Enders said.

It seems tough times are ahead for the company, as the French 2019-2025 military budget draft postpones an order of the H160 as the joint light helicopter to 2020, with delivery in 2028. That compares to a previous expectation of a program launch in 2019.

The French Navy will lease some 15 light helicopters to replace the aging Alouette III as a result of the delayed delivery of the H160.