Despite attempts to point out that Airbus is a single corporation and has no ties to the European Union, it is very clear that this simply is not the
case. A mere phone call by a EU politician can effect the fortunes of any number of companies. The most recent example of this fortress Europe
mentality is the selection of the turboprop engines for the A400M military transport being built by Airbus.
Following the issue of specifications, Pratt & Whitney Canada submitted a bit to supply the engines and found itself in competing with a company
called Europrop. Europrop was a company that had been created by MTU, Rolls Royce, Snecma, Industria de Turbo Propulsores. Pratt’s initial bid not
only beat the Europrop bid by more than 20 percent, Airbus itself admitted that the proposed turboprops from BOTH sides were comparable in technical
merit (1). Having been assured by Airbus officials that the contract was winnable based on unit price for the 750 engine contract, Pratt was confident
that they would win.
To be told at the 11th hour and the 49th minute that a non-European engine would not be on the airplane is a bitter pill - George David, Chairman of
Pratt’s parent company United Technologies
What had happened to the bid of Pratt’s? Under intense lobbying from the European governments directly involved in the project, despite that fact that
the aircraft according to Airbus, was to be built on commercial terms (i.e. Bids would be submitted and governments would purchase the whole plane,
not specify each item), Europrop with prior knowledge of Pratt’s bid and amounts was allowed to rebid. Pratt was not.
According to European news reports, Germany, France and Britain were ready to veto the Pratt choice. And French President Jacques Chirac said publicly
that a European military plane should have European engines.
Europrop received direct aid to bolster its bid in addition to the shady business practices of the EU and Airbus. In addition to providing political
muscle the U.K. also provided aid in the form of came Dept. of Trade and Industry (DTI) providing research and development funding to Rolls-Royce for
the TP400-D6 engine. (1)
it is very clear that the EU and Airbuses intent to actually have a real competition was totally a sham. They never intended to compete and their
providing information and allowing a rebid of the contract by one party simply proves it. The Pratt design by Airbuses own admission was of comparable
design yet in came in 20 percent cheaper. They allowed the European company to rebid with the knowledge of Pratt’s bid. Its shocking that they came in
under. One has to wonder if the Europrop bid will require some for of subside to even break even. More likely it is yet another cog in the elaborate
jobs program that Airbus is.
(1) Aviation Week & Space Technology 05/26/2003, page 66
(2) Aviation Week & Space Technology SHOWDOWN IN PARIS 05/12/2003, page 22
Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
OP/ED: Airbus and Its Continued Subsidies By Europe (Part I)
OP/ED: Airbus and Its Continued Subsidies By Europe (Part II) - The 1992 LCAA and
[edit on 16-12-2004 by Banshee]