Eurofighter yesterday bluntly warned that any suppliers to the EF2000 fighter project will be dropped if they fail to deliver their parts of the programme.
Speaking at the show, deputy managing director Luis Muñoz says: "Suppliers have a critical role to play. We are demanding that they have to be not just good, but excellent. We must have full commitment to meet our requirement in all aspects.
"It is clear if there are suppliers that don't cut the mustard, they risk being cut." He says this is particularly true now the aircraft has begun what he says is a very tight production schedule.
While stressing that the "large majority" of the 400 or so companies "are very committed," Muñoz makes it clear that past performance is no guarantee that organisations will be retained if there is any falling off in their standards: "Even if they have been part of the development phase, they will not necessarily be part of the production phase."
He declines to give names, but says some companies have already been dismissed from their contracts because of shortfalls in their performance and others are aware they are on the way out. "In most cases, we have already found who will take their jobs," he says.
Reasons for dismissal have ranged from failure to solve technical problems and inability to meet deadlines to companies being distracted by internal re-organisations or lack of commitment.
One supplier who sympathises with Eurofighter's approach is Rainer Götting, deputy managing director of Heidelberg, Germany-based Teldix. The company, whose parent is Litton Industries, produces a range of equipment for the EF2000 including the attack, navigation and defensive aids computers.
"This is a partnership. We solve problems together. If we have a significant problem, even if we meet our specification, we will discuss it with our Eurofighter partner company, prior to any situation where it may become a visible problem for Eurofighter."
Muñoz adds: "Our message to suppliers is they are a very important part of the programme, we absolutely need them. We want people who, when they see the aircraft flying, are proud to be part of the team."
Source: Flight Daily News