Lufthansa closes on big regional order

Replacement Lufthansa is drawing closer to a wide-ranging fleet renewal centring on a 90-seater to replace BAe 146s and BAE Systems Avro RJs within its own fleet and that of Swiss International Air Lines. Regional partner Lufthansa CityLine has 18 Avro RJs and Swiss 24, while Eurowings has 14 146s. Five other 146s are with Air Dolomiti. "Ideally we'd like to get rid of them tomorrow," says a Lufthansa source, adding that a decision is imminent. Swiss's long deferred order for 30 Embraer E-Jets is likely to influence the aircraft selection.

EADS elects Grube

Appointment Rudiger Grube has succeeded Manfred Bischoff as EADS board co-chairman. Bischoff has been appointed to the chairmanship of EADS shareholder DaimlerChrysler. Grube, a member of the DaimlerChrysler and EADS boards, has a background in automotive engineering and aircraft construction and will co-chair EADS with Arnaud Lagardère.

UK contract for L-3

Upgrade The UK Ministry of Defence has selected L-3 Communications Integrated Systems as preferred bidder for a £400 million ($785 million) mission systems upgrade to the Royal Air Force's three BAE Systems Nimrod R1 electronic intelligence aircraft. The company secured an £11.5 million assessment-phase deal last week after beating competition from Lockheed Martin, and expects to receive a demonstration and manufacture-phase contract in June 2009. The R1 aircraft will undergo modification at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire and flight test at Greenville, Texas, with the first to be completed in early 2013. L-3 is teamed with BAE, LogicaCMG and Qinetiq.

Australia studies C-27J support deal

Requirement The Australian Defence Capability Executive is preparing to launch a study of domestic industry support options for the Royal Australian Air Force's Project Air 8000 phase 2 light tactical airlifter requirement. The study is expected to start at the end of May and be finalised in late September. RAAF officials last month confirmed Australia is exploring a sole-source purchase of the Alenia Aeronautica C-27J rather than proceed with a competitive acquisition project.

Source: Flight International