The future of high technology in Europe is at stake if national egoism continues to play a role in the aerospace industry, Manfred Bischoff, chairman of Daimler-Benz Aerospace (Dasa), said at the show yesterday.

"A partnership based on equality is the only key to success," he says.

"We have no time to indulge in the favourite game of Europeans which is summed up by the question: 'Who dominates whom?'

"We must not content ourselves with cooperation and programme companies. What we need are true European joint ventures."

He cites Eurocopter as an example of the way forward, as well as the agreement signed in May with the French Matra-Lagardére group and British partners.

"We would like to see our example followed in other sectors of the industry."

Industrial organisation restructuring is another key to a more competitive future, he says. Conversation of Airbus Industrie (AI) from its present GIE status to a single corporate entity will "...inevitably occur".

With the reform of AI as the cornerstone of European-wide industry reorganisation, Bischoff says a future AI will be empowered to cut costs "...and they will do so".

Turning to the subject of Eurofighter 2000, he says that the need for entering the production phase of the aircraft is largely undisputed.

Returning to his theme, he says: "The Eurofighter is an important integration factor for Europe's development.

A withdrawal would mean deliberately foregoing thousands of highly-skilled jobs, top technological expertise and tax revenues for the (German) Treasury worth 70% of the resources used."

However, he urges a decision on production funding from the German government by July, though adding it could be delayed until later in the year.

Source: Flight Daily News