Business

August 8, 2012

Airbus to double $12 billion it spends with U.S. suppliers

by Roxana Hegeman
Associated Press

European aerospace giant Airbus said Aug. 6 it plans to double the $12 billion it now spends with U.S. suppliers amid strong airplane sales, explaining that the company has a backlog that is “disturbingly healthy.”

Airbus America Chairman Allan McArtor told representatives from 114 companies at an aviation supplier conference in Kansas that 40 percent of what his company uses to build its planes comes from U.S. companies.

“We’ve got a backlog that quite frankly is disturbingly healthy, because it is hard to sell airplanes when your delivery position is so far out,” McArtor said. “So we want to increase our capacity. We cannot increase our capacity without increasing our supply chain capability. We cannot increase our supply chain capability unless we approve more qualified suppliers. And that is precisely why we are here.”

McArtor was in Wichita, Kansas, with U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran to host the first Air Capital Supplier Summit.

Kansas’ aerospace industry encompasses more than 450 companies and accounts for more than 32,000 direct jobs. The France-based company has an engineering center in Wichita where it employs more than 350 people, making the Wichita facility its largest engineering center outside of Europe.

The Airbus supplier event comes just months after Airbus’ biggest competitor, Boeing, announced it planned to close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013. The decision means the loss of some 2,160 high-paying Boeing jobs in Wichita, ending Boeing’s presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.

Airbus planned to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force in Alabama, but its parent company, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co., lost the $35 billion contract to Boeing in 2011. Kansas officials and its congressional delegation helped Boeing land the lucrative tanker contract after its officials promised to do the tanker modification work at Boeing’s defense plant in Wichita.

Moran told reporters before the supplier conference that Kansas officials recognized the importance of Airbus’ presence in Wichita long before summit.

“While there was a lot of effort on behalf of Boeing in regard to the issue related to the tanker, I and others wanted to make certain Airbus knew we were very grateful for their participation in the Wichita business community,” the Republican senator said. “I think we would be here today regardless of the Boeing decision.”

McArtor said his company knew about and was fine with the strong allegiance between Kansas politicians and Boeing. But he noted that most of Airbus’ suppliers are the same suppliers for Boeing.

“Manufacturing large commercial aircraft is a very competitive global business, it is decidedly not a U.S. versus European business, although some would like to frame it that way. But it is in fact a global business that relies on a global supply chain. Both Boeing and Airbus rely on suppliers that are located around the world,” he said.

Airbus depends on U.S. companies more than it depends on any other country in the world to build its airplanes, McArtor said, adding that the company looks to the United States for innovation, dependability and flexibility.

“We are the largest export customer of U.S. aerospace,” McArtor said. “Boeing as you know is the largest exporter, we are the largest export customer and want to grow that.”

Organizers are planning a second supplier summit in Kansas. They said demand was so great that the Wichita event filled up within five days of its announcement.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Raytheon wins $46 million contract for South Korean Global Hawk ground stations

Raytheon has been awarded a contract valued at up to $45.7 million by Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems for ground segments in support of four Global Hawk unmanned aircraft systems recently purchased by the Republic of Korea. Under this contract, Raytheon will deliver one building-based and one mobile ground segment to locations in South Korea. Work...
 
 

TOW 2A RF missiles successfully fired from helicopter

In the first of its kind launch, Raytheon fired tube-launched, optically-tracked, wireless-guided 2A radio frequency practice missiles from an AH-1W Cobra attack helicopter during a December exercise.  Raytheon, working with the Naval Air Systems Command, fired two TOW 2A RF practice missiles at ranges exceeding 2600 meters. The two tests verified the missile’s capability to...
 
 
NG-growler2

Northrop Grumman delivers center/aft ‘shipset’ for first international EA-18G Growler

Northrop Grumman photograph Northrop Grumman mechanics perform final quality inspections on the center/aft fuselage shipset produced by the company for the first Australian EA-18G Growler. The subassembly will be delivered to B...
 

 

Boeing, ANA finalize order for three 787-10 Dreamliners

Boeing and All Nippon Airways (ANA) today finalized an order for three 787-10 Dreamliners, valued at approximately $900 million at list prices. With this order, originally announced as a commitment in January 2015, ANA becomes Boeing’s newest 787-10 customer and first airline in Asia to operate the entire family of 787 Dreamliners. “We truly appreciate...
 
 

Poland’s MESKO, Raytheon sign second letter of intent

In a move designed to collaborate and share advanced defense technologies, Raytheon’s Missile Systems business signed a Letter of Intent with MESKO, Poland’s leading missile and ammunition manufacturer. Areas of cooperation focus on Raytheon’s solutions for the KRAB howitzer precision fires and new Polish Attack Helicopter, including offset proposals and opportunities for MESK...
 
 

Airbus Group delivers first new UH-72A Lakota for Army initial-entry trainer mission

Airbus Group March 25 delivered to the U.S. Army the first UH-72A Lakota helicopter to come off the Airbus Helicopters Inc. production line configured for the Lakota’s latest mission, as the service’s initial-entry training helicopter. The aircraft will join seven Lakotas previously in the Army inventory that have already been modified to the training configuration...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>