A Strong Aerospace Industry
We can estimate that the aerospace and defense (A&D) industries in Europe employ about 800,000 people and generate a turnover of € 198 Billion. Attention has often been drawn, and rightly so, to the deindustrialization of Europe. Despite difficult economic conditions the A&D industry appears to be a real success story. Since 2000 growth of A&D value added has outpaced the European manufacturing sector by 36 pts (Study R.Berger). Airbus which is undoubtedly the flagship of this industry sector inaugurated this month its first US plant -production of A320 and A321- which will bring the company closer to its clients and increase the level of competition faced by Boeing on its own territory. Eurofighter has also recently won against the same American competitor an important contract for the sale of 28 fighter jets to Koweit. The strength of this industry is the result, first of all, of massive investments. It is also worth emphasizing the support of political and public authorities at the highest level. But above all, and in order to stand successfully against commercial competition, the A&D industry relies on cutting-edge technologies and highly skilled engineers and technicians. France, Germany and the UK are the driving force in the development of this sector. And the implementation of cooperative programs between these countries is key to success. However, the European aerospace and defense industry will have to face challenges which are the same as those of the industry as a whole: the rise of new competitors including Brazil, China and India which will affect the profitability of this sector.