(This is a re-publication of an article dated 11th March 2013)
These comments are my own regarding the audition of Tom Enders, CEO of EADS, by the French Committee of « Foreign Affairs, Defense & Armies » about the European Defence.
They do not express a vision on EADS, neither the EADS nor my one.
Main critics come from the unknown of these projects, due to the fact that they are independent.
Difficulies around common equipments are mainly due to 3 reasons :
i.e: Eurofighter / Rafale case, European UAV case, Defence cuts…
i.e: Eurofighter / Rafale case, A400M multi-constraints…
i.e: A400M case, NH90 multi-variants…
In Fact, even Germany is a primary industrial actor on Aerospace & Defence, it is not an active Defence Nation :
Actually, modern German army is too recent to have a proven vision of Future Defence.
Its mistake around the EC665 'Tiger' UHT, or the fact that they sized their equipments in line with their human force (and not their deployment need, and which explain their current Defence cuts), clearly show the lack of vision from Germany regarding Defence Excellence.
In addition, Germany has neither proven experience, nor the wish on leading External Operations, due to the fact that it has no worldwide imperial history.
He is critized by the fact that he do not necessary share the French-German of vision of a United Europe, but more a Confederal Europe.
(... And Thales would have perfectly completed this merger)
Refer to my analysis of this merger :
Read ‘The Goal‘ (by E.M. Goldratt) and/or ‘Leçon d’Histoire sur l’Entreprise de l’Antiquité à nos Jours‘ (by M. Drancourt) for more information on the importance of profits role.
And it its due to the key role of profits (and reaching the aims) that I have a very critic opinion on Cassidian management during last 5-10 years. Based on the feedback of the waste of successes, time & money from this company, I push, since years, that it has to be deeply re-thank... or sold.
Aerospace & Defence systems are going more and more complex. It is important that, to optimize complexity degrees, the project is based on a easy-to-manage organization.
Several feedbacks about projects Excellence highlights in one hand the success of a Prime-Contractor organization (promoted in US and also by some european companies like Dassault) ; in other hand, complex industrial organization faced to unefficiency which caused substantial delay & over-costs (i.e: NH90, F35...)
As I explained in introduction, Customers have all their own visions of the project and its need.
To avoid adding degrees of complexity, incoherent specifications or non-relevant customizations, it is critical to the project to be based on an Excellence approach.
For that, it has to be kept on an industrial basis and not integrate preliminar minor, risked and not-optimized requirements.
If a Customer does not accept the rules, he might not disrupt the project but may leave it.
Mr. Longuet, when he was French Minister of Defence in late 2011, said about the Harfang (an EADS Cassidian UAV based on the IAI ‘Heron’) :
« When we know that one of our few Harfangs deployed in Afghanistan was grounded more than a year due to a problem regarding an equipment [note: a lack of spare], we should ask us if it is rational to work with that kind of partners [note: EADS Cassidian] which are not under orders of their orderers »
It is a ‘fair fight’ with other European Industries : Dassault did the same few months earlier.