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15 Dec 17. Macron says vigilant on Airbus corporate changes. French President Emmanuel Macron said he was closely following management changes at the top of Airbus and would ensure that the balance of national interests as well as the company’s interests are respected in the new appointments.
“For Airbus there are decisions on governance which are for the board to take. We are vigilant because we are shareholders, clients and (providers of) export support,” Macron said.
Speaking at a news conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel after an EU summit on Friday, Macron added: “We will therefore take the best (people) while ensuring that the balance, as the Chancellor has said, of the different nations is respected and while also pursuing the interests of the company”.
Macron suggested he did not however want to undermine a 2013 accord limiting the role of French and German governments in Airbus, which he helped negotiate as a senior aide to then president Francois Hollande.
The pact marked a departure from previous rules handing France and Germany considerable control, while ensuring a rotation of French and German leaders at the top.
German-born Chief Executive Tom Enders has said nationalities no longer matter in the planemaking group.
“I don’t think the solution is to let the states come back to the board. We must look out for our strategic interests and seek exemplary governance, and I expect the board to provide necessary and indispensable clarification, and updates on the management and the ground rules, in coming weeks,” Macron said.
Asked what nationality the next CEO of Airbus would be, Merkel responded: “Airbus must make decisions about its own future. There are longstanding rules about this. But in any case, both countries will hold important positions. That I can say.” (Source: Reuters)
15 Dec 17. German military kicks off heavy lift helicopter competition – source. Germany’s military has approved plans to buy 45 to 60 new heavy-lift helicopters, kicking off a competition between the two largest U.S. weapons makers for the contract worth nearly 4bn euros ($4.72bn), a military source said on Friday.
Lockheed Martin Corp will bid with its massive CH-53K helicopter, while Boeing Co will seek to sell its smaller twin-rotor CH-47.
General Volker Wieker, chief of staff of the German Bundeswehr, signed the document that begins the contract bidding process on Thursday, the source told Reuters. “No decision has been made on a preferred model,” the source added.
The defence ministry expects to issue a request for information in the second half of 2018 after completing a fleet capability study, with a contract award seen in mid-2020.
Initial deliveries would begin in 2023, replacing Germany’s existing fleet of CH-53G aircraft, the source said.
Wieker’s decision calls for a combined contract to include both manufacturing and maintenance, defying a call by Airbus and other German firms that the ministry split the contract into two segments. The terms of the procurement would require that maintenance was supported in Germany but would not stipulate an award to a German company, the source said.
Lockheed said it had not been officially notified, but would look forward to working with the German military.
Nathalie Previte, vice president of international business development for Lockheed’s Sikorsky helicopter unit, said the company planned to involve “German industry to the maximum extent possible around the life of the programme.”
No comment was immediately available from Boeing or Airbus. (Source: Reuters)
15 Dec 17. US Army Europe is getting a new commander from 25th ID. Maj. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, the commander of the 25th Infantry Division, will take command of U.S. Army Europe, according to information provided by a Defense Department official.