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JSF Tech Transfer causing realignment in Aerospace industry?

Kirkhill

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On March 18 Bert posted this:

Another angle on JSF procurement is technology transfer and ownership.  Here is an arcticle that tells
of British issue with the possibility of American controlled software in the JSF.   A country buys the
aircraft but the US maintains control over the technology and ultimately whether the aircraft works or
not. 

http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2152035/joint-strike-fighter

http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/39211.30.html

Shortly afterwards the Brits visited the US and came away making positive noises about a solution - tentative but positive.

Today there are these news releases:

EADS Confirms It Is Entering Into the Very Early Stages of a Discussion on the Potential Disposal of BAE Systems' 20 Percent Share in Airbus
 
 
(Source: EADS; issued April 7, 2006)
 
 
AMSTERDAM --- EADS confirms it is entering into the very early stages of a discussion on the potential disposal of BAE Systems' 20 percent stake in Airbus. BAE Systems' management called EADS' management Thursday evening to initiate the talks. 

EADS welcomes the opportunity to increase its stake in Airbus, which holds the potential of simplifying Airbus governance. EADS was anticipating the possibility of such a move and is fully prepared to move ahead constructively. 

The initiation of these discussions does not represent an exercise of the put option held by BAE Systems in relation to this stake. EADS intend to work diligently together with BAE Systems towards a value that is fair to both parties. The schedule of the discussions cannot be anticipated and there can be no certainty as to their outcome. Meanwhile, there will be no further comments by EADS until discussions are closed or it considers it is appropriate to do so. 


EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of EUR 34.2 billion and employed a workforce of about 113,000. The EADS Group includes the aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the world's largest helicopter supplier Eurocopter and the joint venture MBDA, the international leader in missile systems. EADS is the major partner in the Eurofighter consortium, is the prime contractor for the Ariane launcher, develops the A400M military transport aircraft and is the largest industrial partner for the European satellite navigation system Galileo. 

-ends- 

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.16882086.1133972074.Q5cKasOa9dUAAFC2ZcA&modele=jdc_34


And;

BAE Systems in Talks with EADS to Sell Airbus Stake
 
 
(Source: Deutsche Welle German radio; issued April 10, 2006)
 
 
British BAE Systems confirmed it was planning to sell its 20-percent stake in aircraft maker Airbus in order to pursue its ambitions on the US defense market. The move has raised fears about massive job cuts in the UK. 

British defense and aerospace giant BAE Systems confirmed Friday it was holding negotiations on the sale of its 20-percent stake in aircraft maker Airbus -- recently valued at 3.5 billion euros ($4.2 billion) -- to its Franco-German counterpart EADS, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company. 

"Discussions are at an early stage and a further announcement will be made if and when appropriate," BAE said in a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange. 

According to a BBC report, BEA Chief Executive Mike Turner is expected to meet with Alan Johnson, head of Britain's Department of Trade and Industry, on Friday to discuss the details. 

"We believe that now is the right time for us to divest our Airbus shareholding to allow us to concentrate on our core trans-Atlantic defense and aerospace strategy," Turner said in a statement. 

EADS is Europe's leading aeronautic industrial group. It already owns 80 percent of European aircraft maker Airbus and also has interests in military aircraft, satellites and other defense equipment. 

Job cuts to follow? 

A BBC report on Thursday said the sale of Airbus holdings would mean the end of British ownership of Airbus manufacturing sites in North Wales and near Bristol, western England. The news prompted union leaders to seek urgent talks with BAE because Airbus directly employs some 13,000 people in Britain. 

Amicus, Britain's largest manufacturing union, voiced concern about the possibility of job cuts in the future. "Obviously we have concerns, particularly because of uncertainty about any impact on jobs," said national officer Ian Waddle. "We want to find out if production will remain in the UK or whether it will be shifted to the countries where the new buyers are based," he said. 

On top of the people directly employed by Airbus in Britain, the BBC said up to a further 135,000 jobs at British suppliers also depended on the company. 

France to maintain its stake in EADS 

In a separate development, the French government announced on Thursday it was determined to keep its 15-percent stake in EADS amid uncertainty about the company's shareholding structure. 

On Tuesday, two of the main shareholders in EADS, German-US automaker DaimlerChrysler and French defense and media group Lagardere, said they would cut their holdings substantially. 

DaimlerChrysler's interest is to be reduced from 30.0 percent to 22.5 percent while that of Lagardere will be lowered from 15.0 to 7.5 percent. Both groups said they were reducing their holdings in order to concentrate on their core activities, automobiles for DaimlerChrysler and the media for Lagardere. 

French Economy Minister Thierry Breton said that the "French state has no intention of reducing its stake of 15 percent in the capital of EADS" during a visit to the French town of Poitiers, according to the finance ministry. 

-ends- 

http://www.defense-aerospace.com/cgi-bin/client/modele.pl?session=dae.16882086.1133972074.Q5cKasOa9dUAAFC2ZcA&modele=jdc_34


I now cheerfully jump into the realm of unfettered speculation... :)

The Americans were reluctant to transfer technology to Britain (BAE) because of its ties to France (EADS) via Airbus because of France's ties to China and Russia (Arms and Tech Transfers).

Britain's solution is to pull BAE out of Airbus severing ties with EADS and China/Russia sales.

Britain gets nod from US on STOVL JSF and Tech-Transfer.

Meanwhile - because BAE is pulling out of Airbus (20% of stock)  and Airbus is a key factor in EADS prosperity  Daimler Chrysler and Lagardere drop their stock in EADS resulting in a loss to EADS of 15% of their capitalization.  French government stands pat - doesn't withdraw but doesn't take up the slack.

Uninformed observer might think that this would not be good news for EADS/Airbus.

If so what knock on effect might this have on Canada's Airlift decisions where the EADS products A400M, C295, C235 are up against Boeing C17 and Lockheed-Martin C130J and C27J?

Also what impact is this likely to have on Bombardier and Pratt and Whitney Canada which seemed to be aligning more with EADS recently?  Not to mention L3 and Spar Aerospace?

Discuss. :)

Edit:  Quotes reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act.



 

Bert

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In the document, http://www.vnunet.com/vnunet/news/2152035/joint-strike-fighter , it quotes
"Lord Drayson, minister for defence procurement, told the The Daily Telegraph that the planes
were useless without control of the software as they could effectively be "switched off" by the
Americans without warning."

Assuming the article is accurate and does not explain everything, the quote implies the US
has the ability to manipulate control of the aircraft.  If this is correct, the issue is not just
about technology transfer or politics, but the ability of the US to "switch-off" the
aircraft without warning.  This implies the ability of remote control from the semantics,
perhaps de-activating equipment via embedded micro satellite link in the field if it falls into the wrong
hands or attacks US assets.  I remember reading an article on the concept a few years ago.

 

Kirkhill

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Hmm, Interesting Bert - I missed that

Kind of like the Bait cars they have scattered around Vancouver that the local constabulary is using to catch car thieves.  I guess if you can do it with cars you can do it with aircraft.....a boss of mine in Europe had a car with that capability 8-10 years ago.  If he reported the car stolen the engine was deactivated "from space".....

 

joshi

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Im no expert but i believe that the software has source codes that can be inputted(dont know how...could be remote controlled) that will either allow it to function or fully shut down the system.
 
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