UK 'snubs BAE for EADS' in RAF contract

23rd January 2004, Comments 0 comments

LONDON, Jan 23 (AFP) - Britain is to award a GBP 13-billion (EUR 18.9 billion, USD 24-billion) contract to replace the Royal Air Force's refuelling aircraft to a team led by EADS, the Franco-German defence group, London's Financial Times newspaper said Friday.

LONDON, Jan 23 (AFP) - Britain is to award a GBP 13-billion (EUR 18.9 billion, USD 24-billion) contract to replace the Royal Air Force's refuelling aircraft to a team led by EADS, the Franco-German defence group, London's Financial Times newspaper said Friday.

The move, which industry executives say will be announced to a team led by the European Air and Space Company on Monday, will deal a major blow to a rival consortium led by Britain's BAE systems and Boeing of the United States, the newspaper said.

According to the same source, Britain's Ministry of Defence has also warned BAE that it could lose future projects if it failed to improve its project management of big weapons programmes.

This warning comes as an annual review of the ministry's 30 largest weapons programmes, published Friday, shows the projects have rocketed a further 3.1 billion pounds over budget in the last year and were delayed an average of nine months.

The study by the National Audit Office, parliament's budgetary watchdog, showed more than 87 percent of the cost surpluses and 79 percent of the delays last year were on just four programmes, three run by BAE and the other by a missile manufacturer partly owned by the company.

"You don't keep employing a plumber who continually floods your house," said a senior Ministry of Defence official quoted by the Financial Times.


© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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