Airbus Group, Inc.

Airbus Group, Inc.
Industry Aerospace, Defense
Founded 2003
Headquarters McNair, Virginia
(Herndon mailing address)[1][2]
Area served
Revenue $1.3 billion (2011)
Number of employees
approx. 2000 (end 2011)
Subsidiaries Airbus Helicopters, Inc.
Airbus Military North America
Cassidian Communications
EADS North America Test and Services
Fairchild Controls Corporation

Airbus Group, Inc. (formerly EADS North America) represents the North American activities of Airbus Group, the world’s second largest aerospace and defense company, and the largest in Europe. Headquartered in McNair, Virginia, this American arm of the company participates in U.S. Department of Defense programs, in some cases as a prime contractor. It employs approximately 2,000 people and had 2011 revenues of $1.3 billion. Sean O'Keefe, the former chancellor of Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the chairman and CEO. Paul Pastorek, former Louisiana state superintendent of education, is chief counsel and corporate secretary.[3]

In the United States, Airbus Group, Inc., oversees several subsidiaries including Airbus Helicopters, Inc., Cassidian Communications, Airbus Military North America, Fairchild Controls, and EADS North America Test and Services. With locations in 29 U.S. cities and 15 states,[4] these entities provide fixed- and rotary-wing aircraft for commercial and military customers, land and maritime detection and border security technology, emergency call processing and notification solutions, defense electronics and avionics, and services.


Since its creation in 2003, Airbus Group Inc. has expanded its footprint through acquisitions and selection in competitions for military aircraft and systems.

In 1974 Aérospatiale took full control of Vought Helicopter and in 1976 renamed it Aerospatiale Helicopter Corporation.[5] In 1979 work began on a new helicopter facility in Grand Prairie, Texas.[5]

Plans for a Mobile, Alabama aircraft assembly plant were formally announced by Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier on 2 July 2012. The plans include a $600 million factory at the Brookley Aeroplex for the assembly of the A319, A320 and A321 aircraft. It could employ up to 1,000 full-time workers when operational.[6] Construction began on 8 April 2013, and will become operable by 2016, producing up to 4 aircraft a month at full production.[7][8]

Light Utility Helicopter and Armed Aerial Scout derivative

The UH-72A Lakota Light Utility helicopter is flown by the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy

Airbus Group Inc. is a prime contractor to the U.S. Army on the service’s new UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopter. The Lakota is based on the commercial EC145. Under terms of a contract awarded in June 2006, Airbus Group Inc. has already delivered more than 200 out of a planned 351 aircraft.

The latest order under the Army’s contract, for 32 Lakotas in Fiscal Year 2011, brought total orders to 219. This includes 214 rotary-wing aircraft for the U.S. Army and five already delivered aircraft for the U.S. Navy. The Army is targeting a total acquisition of 346 helicopters through 2016, for a total of 351 from both services.

The Armed Aerial Scout 72X (AAS-72X), based on the UH-72A platform, is Airbus Group Inc's answer to the U.S. Army’s armed scout requirement. This highly adaptable solution has successfully demonstrated its ability to fly under high (6 km) and hot (95 degrees) conditions while carrying a 2,300-pound payload. The company unveiled a more capable variant, the AAS-72X+ in April 2012 that increases the payload capacity to 2,800 pounds while operating at the same high and hot conditions.

Homeland security and homeland defense

EADS was listed by Homeland Security Today in April 2011 as the #11 supplier to the Department of Homeland Security and, within the Department, the #2 supplier to the U.S. Coast Guard. Of note, the company’s aircraft make up 54% of the Customs and Border Protection helicopter fleet and 71% of the Coast Guard’s helicopter fleet.

Landing signal enlisted Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Troy Palomino directs an H-65

Airbus Group Inc. is the prime contractor on the HC-144A Ocean Sentry maritime patrol aircraft, a key element of the U.S. Coast Guard’s modernization program. The Coast Guard plans to buy a total of 36 Ocean Sentries; to date, 13 have been delivered. Also serving the Coast Guard is Airbus' H-65 Dolphin helicopter, which is particularly well-suited for search and rescue, fisheries patrols, maritime security, border patrol, monitoring illegal immigration, and drug interdiction.

Its UH-72A Lakota Light Utility Helicopters operate with U.S. Army and National Guard units, providing search and rescue, disaster relief, drug interdiction and medical evacuation services from coast to coast. Other rotary-wing aircraft from Airbus Group's American Eurocopter subsidiary are flown by U.S. Customs and Border Protection along more than 10,000 miles of the nation’s borders, as well as by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, and law enforcement agencies across the country.

Airbus Group Inc's subsidiary, Cassidian Communications, provides emergency notification services, emergency call centers and public safety radio systems. Cassidian Communications has nearly 600 employees in California, Tennessee, Indiana, Alabama and Canada. Its products and services provide security for more than 200 million U.S. residents.

Ectocryp Black in use at the Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration at Joint Forces Command, 2011

The company’s multifunction TRS-3D radar has been selected and deployed on both the Coast Guard’s National Security Cutter and the Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship. The TRS-3D is a lightweight radar that performs surveillance, self-defense, gunfire support, and helicopter control.

Other security programs currently undergoing development for the U.S. market include

U.S. Air Force KC-45 Tanker

EADS North America teamed with then-prime contractor Northrop Grumman to win the KC-X aerial refueling tanker competition in 2008, however the contract was successfully appealed by Boeing.[9]

Following Northrop Grumman’s withdrawal from the subsequent procurement in 2010,[9] the Department of Defense indicated it would welcome a bid from EADS North America as prime contractor. EADS North America submitted a compliant proposal in July 2010. In February 2011 the Air Force announced it had awarded the contract to Boeing, and EADS North America chose not to protest.[10]

The KC-45A would have been based on EADS’ A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport, itself a derivative of the A330 commercial jetliner, and would have been assembled in Mobile, Alabama.[11]


Since its formation in 2003 it has expanded existing facilities in Mississippi, Texas, California and Alabama, and built three new facilities in the U.S.:

See also


  2. "Contacts - Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer". Retrieved 2015-06-06.
  3. "Sean Cavanaugh,Paul Pastorek Resigns as School Superintendent in Louisiana, May 11, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2014.
  4. "About Us". Airbus Group, Inc. Retrieved 2014-03-08. External link in |website= (help)
  5. 1 2 Cox, Bob (2009-07-11). "American Eurocopter celebrating 40-year 'fun ride'". Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
  6. "Airbus confirms its first US factory to build A320 jet". BBC News. 2 July 2012. Retrieved 2 July 2012.
  7. "Construction begins on Airbus' U.S. Assembly Line" (Press release). Airbus SAS. 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
  8. Trimble, Stephen (29 October 2014), "Airbus keeps Alabama assembly line on track despite heavy floods", Flightglobal, Reed Business Information, retrieved 29 October 2014
  9. 1 2 "EADS to make solo bid for US refuelling tanker". United Kingdom: BBC News. 2010-04-20. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
  10. Drew, Christopher (2011-03-04). "EADS Won't Protest Loss of Tanker Contract to Boeing". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-09.
  11. Riley, Charles (2011-02-25). "Air Force awards Boeing $35 billion contract". CNN. Retrieved 2014-03-09.

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