A military ceremony set the scene for the hand-over of the 200th Eurofighter production aircraft from EADS Defence & Security (DS) to the operator, the German Air Force. The event, which summarized all deliveries from the four international final assembly facilities, took place this Tuesday at the Military Aviation Centre of DS' business unit Military Air System (MAS) and gathered both the industrial as well as the military Eurofighter community.
In his opening speech Bernhard Gerwert, CEO of MAS and chairman of the supervisory board of the Eurofighter GmbH, welcomed particularily the managing director of the international customer management organisation NETMA, Lieutenant General Antonino Altorio and his deputy Werner Sabarz, Lieutenant General Peter Schelzig, Commanding Officer Air Force Command, German Air Force, and Enzo Casolini, CEO of the industrial management organisation Eurofighter GmbH.
Gerwert stated the "delivery of the 200th Eurofighter aircraft representing the best of hightech in defence aeronautics in Europe today." He showed his gratitude to all parties involved to make this date happen: the customer nations, NETMA, and all partners within the Eurofighter industrial consortium.
In his brief programme overview, Berndt Wünsche, Eurofighter programme director within MAS, recalled the historical challenge which occurred roughly 20 years ago, when the collapse of the Warsaw Pact and the subsequent German reunification necessitated industry and the military to a technical and operational 'programme-reorientation' from former Cold-War scenarios.
"Thanks to those realignment checkpoints, our programme now is the only one which is successfully benchmarked and literally 'hardened' against current and future threats", Wünsche expressed. "I'm delighted that there is so much more in the production pipeline after today's 200th aircraft. With more than 700 aircraft currently in the order book and Mr Casolini's forecast for around 300 more for export, we all are privileged to jointly work for such a powerful programme", Wünsche continued.
The 200th Eurofighter production aircraft with the tactical number 30+51 was then handed over to the German Air Force and will serve on active duty with Fighter Wing (Jagdgeschwader) 73 "Steinhoff" at Rostock-Laage in the northeast of Germany.
Military Air Systems is an integrated activity of EADS Defence & Security (DS). DS is a systems solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide. Its portfolio ranges from sensors and secure networks through missiles to aircraft and UAVs as well as global security, service and support solutions. In 2008, DS – with around 23,000 employees – achieved revenues of EUR 5.7 billion.
EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2008, EADS generated revenues of EUR 43.3 billion and employed a workforce of about 118,000. (ends)
Hand-Over Ceremony Of 200th Eurofighter Production Aircraft to Customers at EADS Defence & Security's Military Aviation Centre Manching