After recent turmoil within EADS, the penny now dropped, and the company’s Board of Directors has announced the resignation of French co-CEO Noel Forgeard as EADS CEO, as a member of the EADS Board, and as Chairman of the Airbus Shareholder Committee. It also announced the resignation of Airbus’ German CEO Gustav Humbert as CEO and as a member of the EADS Executive Committee, effective immediately. These announcements come in the wake of trouble with the A380 super-jumbo program that led to a 25% plunge in EADS share price, and controversy over Foregard’s sale of EADS stock a month before the devastating announcement. EADS and Airbus have been mired in legal and political trouble ever since.
The Board has appointed Louis Gallois as co-CEO with Enders, who already held the position. The 47 year-old Enders was also nominated as Chairman of the Airbus Shareholder Committee, subject to their confirmation. EADS has also made corresponding changes to its top-level reporting assignments.
Raytheon Missile Systems in Tucson, AZ received a $169.9 million firm-fixed-price requirements contract for performance-based logistics in support of the Phalanx CIWS (close-in weapon system). The radar-guided, rapid-firing Mk. 15 Phalanx can fire between 3,000-4,500 20mm rounds per minute as a last-ditch defense against incoming anti-ship missiles, and upgraded Block 1B versions can now be used against small gunboats, standard and guided artillery; helicopters, et. al. It uses closed-loop spotting with advanced radar and computer technology to locate, identify and direct a stream of armor piercing projectiles to the target (see video: MPEG | AVI, with hat tips to the good folks at Digg.com).
This contract combines procurements between the US Navy (74.79%); US Coast Guard (4.6%); and the Governments of Australia (5%); Israel (5%); New Zealand (5%); Japan (1%); United Kingdom (1%); Canada (1%); Taiwan (1%); Poland (1%); Bahrain (0.4%); and Saudi Arabia (0.21%) under the Foreign Military Sales Program. Work will be performed in Louisville, KY (90%), and Tucson, AZ (10%), and is expected to be complete by April 2011. This contract was not competitively procured by the Naval Inventory Control Point in Mechanicsburg, PA (N00104-06-D-L007).
The L-159 is the Czech Republic’s subsonic, fully westernized successor to the popular L-39 trainer & light attack aircraft. The Czech government ordered and built 72 of these aircraft as the backbone of its air force, most of which were single-seat versions. Now that the Czechs fly the JAS-39 Gripen, the entry at GlobalSecurity.org, and the Czech government’s own L-159 page all report that the Czech Republic has been trying to get out of a procurement bind since 2002 by selling off 47 of these aircraft and keeping 24 for operational use (one aircraft has been lost, for a total of 72).
Recently, L-159 manufacturer AERO Vodochody a.s. (AERO) signed a contract with the Czech Ministry of Defense to modify 4 of its operational L-159s into two-seat versions, to be delivered to the Czech Air Force (CzAF) during the year 2007. As AERO’s release notes, this effort will demonstrate the Albatross’ convertability into 2-seat versions that might be suitable for competitions like Israel’s trainer RFP. Or for Forward Air Control (FAC) and attack missions by countries like Colombia, as combat experience demonstrates that a second pilot makes a big difference to an aircraft’s ability to spot and prosecute fleeting targets in a FAC role. Given the aging and difficult-to-support status of Colombia’s Vietnam-era A-37 Dragonfly jets, the L-159 may represent an opportunity… at least, AERO thinks so, and their release has some interesting passages: