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For the Record
At TMB 2014, Airbus Defence and Space had an enhanced portfolio

Domingo UrenaSeville/ Madrid (Spain): Unlike the four earlier editions of international Trade Media Briefings (TMB), this time around the head of Airbus Defence and Space (Military Aircraft), Domingo Urena-Raso appeared a bit subdued initially. But it was just the play of light, in the fading hours of the day at La Hacienda, a 17th century Andulasian fort on the outskirts of Seville.

The moment he took to the mike at the impromptu podium, Domingo was his usual self: confident and exuberant. Despite a tongue-in-cheek disclaimer that he has been asked to speak less, he spoke about the global defence market and his company’s products. His central message was two-fold: while the markets in Europe have shrunk, there are new opportunities in Latin America, Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Moreover, as technologies are both expensive and fast changing, it has become necessary for companies to consolidate within and to seek cooperation with other companies for marrying of capabilities. Domingo believes that challenges should not constraint deliverables; as companies are answerable to its shareholders, ways had to be found to show results.

His was no empty speechmaking. Domingo’s career profile is proof that he is an asset to his company. Domingo was appointed chairman and CEO of Airbus Military (part of EADS group) in February 2009 with his company getting raised two months later in April 2009. Then, on 31 July 2013, EADS announced a change of name to Airbus Group, after which its three companies, namely Astrium, Cassidian and Airbus Military were merged to form Airbus Defence and Space. Domingo, in his new avatar is the executive vice president of Military Aircraft, an expanded entity than the earlier Airbus Military. The new Airbus Defence and Space Military Aircraft is responsible for six products: light and medium aircraft, Multi Role Tanker Transport (MRTT), A400M, Eurofighter, Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and services; Eurofighter and UAS being the addition.

It was Domingo’s idea to start international TMB each year from 2010. As he told FORCE, “A customer needs to be familiar with a product before he decides to buy it.” This was done in two ways: demo tours and visit to facilities. Slipped between product updates to invited journalists are visits to production facilities located essentially in Spain. Headquartered in Madrid, the company’s main sites are Getafe, close to Madrid, where civil Airbus A330 airframes are converted into MRTT aircraft, and Seville, where the San Pablo factory, south of the airport, hosts the A400M final assembly line opened in 2007, as well as the complete production and final assembly of the C212, CN235 and C295. Toulouse in France is A400M’s delivery centre. The four partner nations are the UK, Germany, Spain and Italy. Eurofighter is an addition to the military aircraft stable.

For the Record
A330 MRTT, which is being sought by the IAF on the production line

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