On 27 September, a new expert study commissioned by Austrian prosecutors investigating the country’s EUR1.95 billion (USD2.26 billion) Eurofighter purchase in 2003, backed the jet’s manufacturers by concluding that the former EADS consortium was able to deliver the aircraft with the original sub-systems, Jane’s has learnt.
In 2017, then defence minister Hanspeter Doskozil (SPOE) and his internal Ministry of Defence (MoD) task force led by Major General Hans Hamberger asked Vienna prosecutors to launch an investigation into the consortium after the MoD said it believed “they had misled and cheated Austria about the price and equipment of, as well as ability to deliver on, the 2003 deal”. The probe targeted 17 (mostly former EADS) managers up to Airbus chief executive Tom Enders who, along with company lawyer Peter Gauweiler denied all accusations.
The names of the experts who conducted the new study have not been revealed so far. However, Jane’s has learnt from lawyers involved in the study that the former head of Armasuisse, Jürg Weber, was consulted as a technical expert earlier in 2018. He concluded “there were no delivery problems. Eurofighter/EADS always has had the necessary expertise to successfully complete its contracts and to deliver its products to the customer of the contractually agreed quality, on the contractually agreed dates and at the agreed costs.”
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