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EUROPROP COMMENTS ON A400M ENGINE COMPETITION

EUROPROP INTERNATIONAL COMMENTS ON A400M ENGINE COMPETITION

06 May 03. Following on from the announcement that EuroProp had won the A400M selection (See BATTLESPACE ALERT Vol.5 ISSUE 6, May 6th 2003, AIRBUS CHOOSES EUROPEAN SOLUTION FOR A400M) EuroProp International (EPI) and SNECMA gave further statements on the project.

Prof. Dr. Günter Kappler, Managing Director of EPI, said: “Winning this fiercely contested contract bears testimony to the tremendous capabilities of the European engine industry. The TP400-D6 combines the ‘best of the best’ from all partners while providing the customer with the lowest overall costs of ownership.

“This engine selection helps the development of the high technology aero engine industry in Europe, securing approximately 3,000 high value, high skilled jobs across Europe.”

Jean-Paul Bechat, chairman of French state-owned engine manufacturer SNECMA, told a press conference that it isn’t possible to put a single figure on the value of the contract as there are so many variables. The variables include how intensively the aircraft are used, the type of maintenance contracts required by the seven nations that have ordered the aircraft, the volume of spare parts, and potential orders from non-partner countries.

In revenue terms, the contract won’t make a huge difference to SNECMA,
Bechat said. “Assuming the A400 program lasts for around 30 years and – for the sake of convenience – a total value of about €3.6bn, annual revenue for EuroProp International would be in the region of €120m,” he said.

For SNECMA alone, with a 28% stake in EuroProp, annual revenue from the A400M contract would be less than $40m, compared with the company’s total annual revenue of €6.5bn, Bechat said.

Bechat acknowledged that the contract had been a difficult one to win. One week ago, Pratt & Whitney was a clear favourite, having submitted a bid that was 20% cheaper than EuroProp’s, according to Airbus chief Noel Foregeard. The SNECMA chairman admitted that had jolted EuroProp’s partners into submitting a much more attractive bid. EuroProp may have won the contract, but it has been forced to trim its margins to the bone. “Will we make a lot of money? Probably not,” he said with a laugh.

But Bechat rejected the idea that EuroProp had been forced to lower its bid to the point where it would actually lose money on the deal. Bechat also denied that the French government had offered financial assistance to help SNECMA devise a winning bid. He said that in this regard, he couldn’t answer for SNECMA’s three partners. “You’ll have to ask them,” he said.

The TP400-D6 engine is being developed and manufactured by Europe’s four leading engine manufacturers: Industria de Turbo Propulsores (ITP), MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce and SNECMA Moteurs, the four partners of EPI.

The TP400-D6 development plan matches the Airbus Military milestone planning for the A400M. The first engine is due to go to test in August 2005 with engines delivered for first flight in September 2007.

The TP400-D6 is a three-shaft configuration that will deliver a maximum power output in excess of 11,000 shaft horsepower. Measuring 5.3 meters in propeller diameter, it will be the Western world’s largest turboprop engine. It benefits from the proven technologies the four partners have developed in many civil and military engine programs. Further applications for the TP400-D6 technologies may come up later.

ITP is responsible for the low-pressure turbine including the turbine exit casing, the dressing and the front frame. MTU is responsible for the intermediate-pressure spool, comprising the intermediate-pressure compressor and turbine. It also cooperates with SNECMA Moteurs in producing the engine control system and also has final assembly responsibility for all of the engines produced.

Rolls-Royce is responsible for engine integration, the high-pressure compressor, low-pressure shaft, intermediate casi

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