“Eurofighter ideally suited”
Airbus boss upset over German F-35 purchases
4/8/2022, 8:34 p.m
The Air Force needs new fighter jets. The federal government buys them from the USA. Airbus boss Faury does not find this farsighted and is reminiscent of the idea of a European defense. For his Eurofighter he is hoping for a German follow-up order for retired Tornados.
The European aerospace and armaments group Airbus has criticized the federal government for its recent purchase of American F-35 fighter jets. “It is a regrettable signal when European defense contracts are awarded to non-European companies,” said Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury in an interview with the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung”.
“These strategic investments in armaments should mainly benefit European companies in order to strengthen Europe’s autonomy in its defense capabilities. I can only encourage the German government to think long-term here and to promote the development of European strategic autonomy, especially if the solutions in Europe are available,” Faury said.
At the same time, he conceded that no Eurofighter was currently certified for the transport of US nuclear weapons. For all other Tornado fighter planes that the German Air Force still has to replace, he hopes that Airbus will place a replacement order. Much of the Tornados in the conventional fighter-bomber role have yet to be replaced. “We see our Eurofighter as ideally suited for this,” he told the newspaper.
Airbus on course for civil aviation
Despite skeptical statements, Faury sees the negotiations with competitor Dassault about the future FCAS combat aircraft system close to completion. “We will still need a few weeks. An agreement is in the interest of all parties and we are very close.”
In the interview, Faury also confirmed the goals for 2022. Despite the Ukraine war, Airbus is still aiming for EBIT of 5.5 billion euros and the delivery of 720 aircraft, an increase of 20 percent, stronger than ever in the company’s history. Production of its flagship product, the A320, will increase to 65 a month by summer 2023. There are currently 45. “The war does not change the fact that people want to travel again and will do so when quarantines, entry controls and insecurity disappear,” Faury told the newspaper. “We should return to pre-crisis levels for short- and medium-haul flights in 2023 and around 2025 for long-haul flights.”