War Profiteer of the Month: EADS
EADS is a perfect example for our war profiteers of the month. As one of the biggest arms manufactures. With the main European states heavily involved in it, the close relation of EADS with the states of France, Germany, Uk and Spain gives them privilege access and contracts with not a clear cut what is for civilian or military equipment.
EADS was established on July 10th 2000 from the link-up of Deutsche Aerospace Agentur (DASA) from Germany, Aerospatiale Matra from France, and Constructionnes Aeronauticas S.A. (CASA) from Spain, and is registered in the Netherlands. EADS shares are mainly controlled by the German car builder DaimlerChrysler, the French media group Lagardère and the French state. It has more than 70 facilities in France, Germany, Spain. While Airbus is its dominant project it has a wide range of military interests and is seeking to increase the proportion of its turnover that is military-related.
EADS is a partner in the Eurofighter programme, manufactures military transport aircraft, owns Eurocopter which produces the Tiger attack helicopter as well as military utility helicopters, is a co-owner of MBDA, the world's second largest missile company, has military space programmes through Astrium and produces nuclear missiles.
EADS brings together the products of missile manufacturers MBDA and EADS/LFK-Lenkflugkörpersysteme, resulting in over 40 guided missile programmes. EADS also develops and manufactures, both alone and in joint ventures, missile subsystems such as warheads, guidance systems and propulsion units. MBDA, owned by EADS, BAE Systems (37.5% each) and Finmeccanica of Italy (25%) is the world's second largest guided missile manufacturer (after Raytheon). In 2002, MBDA had 10,000 employees, sales of 2bn Euros, an order book of more than 13bn Euros and 70 customers worldwide. It has 32 missile programmes in production and a further 23 in development.7 MBDA is working in cooperation with India's Bharat Dynamics and in June 2003 signed a co-operation protocol with EADS and Russia's Sukhoi Corporation and sales agency Rosoboronexport.
EADS Launch Vehicles, and its predecessors are reported to have been responsible for the design and production of every French ballistic missile since 1960. This includes a December 2000 contract with the French government for the new generation of sea-based missiles, the M-51, which will be equipped with a nuclear warhead. The other component of Frances nuclear force is missile for strike aircraft. In December 2001 Aerospatiale Matra Missiles (a subsidiary of EADS) was contracted for the initial development and purchase of such medium-range nuclear missiles.
Ballistic Missile Defense
In addition to being involved in nuclear deterrence, EADS, like many other nuclear weapons companies, is involved in the contradictory strategy of a missile 'shield'. EADS has been involved in a NATO feasibility study into 'Theatre Missile Defense', is part of the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) programme, and in 2002 it announced that it was linking with Boeing to work on Ballistic Missile Defense. 'We believe ballistic defence to be an important focus in the shifting defence environment and key to ensuring peace in a free world,' said EADS joint chief executives Phillipe Camus and Rainer Hertrich.
EADS is also involved in the business with cluster bombs. This is exactly what is documented in films of the international armaments fair EUROSATORY in Paris in June 2004. At the stand of the MDBA, a participating corporation of EADS, a poster for 2005 showed the production of missiles which scatter their submunition over wide areas - which is forbidden by the Geneva Convention. In cooperation with the US-American licence-giver Lockheed Martin, EADS offers missiles with cluster bombs for the rocket launcher MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System).
EADS has so far had little success in its search for Eurofighter customers, but other programmes have seen more impressive results. It has sold Cougar helicopters to Brazil, Super Pumas to Indonesia, Exocet missiles to Oman and Qatar, anti-tank missiles to Turkey and Mistral missiles to South Korea. It has sold hundreds of military transport aircraft to more than 89 operators in 38 countries including Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, South Korea, Oman, South Africa, Turkey, Thailand; Poland, The United Arab Emirates.
In 2003 Tony Yengeni, former chief whip of South Africa's ANC, was convicted of fraud relating to an arms deal with South Africa, in which EADS were major players, worth around $5bn. The BBC reported that EADS had admitted that it had "rendered assistance" to some 30 senior officials to obtain luxury vehicles, including defence force chief General Siphiwe Nyanda.