CASA Crash

Questions and concerns about the safety and reliability of EADS CASA aircraft, and about the reliability of EADS as a U.S. defense partner

31 August 2006

EADS CASA's unbelievable statistics

EADS CASA, the European defense conglomerate that is competing to build the Joint Cargo Aircraft (JCA) for the US military, has been misleading American lawmakers and the public through its printed material and its TeamJCA website.

EADS CASA's materials promote “a family of aircraft” that includes the C-235, C-295, C-212, and A-400M. The company sought Pentagon contracts for the C-235 and its stretch version, the C-295, to become the airframes for the JCA.

The company uses the "family of aircraft" theme to illustrate two claims:

  1. that the C-295 is a “proven product built on a large volume of orders and service around the world,” and
  2. the aircraft is “reliable” based on “more than one-million flights.”

These claims are misleading and sometimes false:

EADS claims one million flights (Raytheon June 6, 2005 news release on PR Newswire). This is mathematically improbable given service of the C-295 since 1999 and C-235 since 1985, unless they had an average of 250 aircraft flying 200 flights a year for 20 years.

EADS does not reference deadly accidents, documented on, among aircraft in its “family” (all of which are counted to make up the one million flights).

EADS claims it has sold at least 61 C-295 aircraft (Sep. 2005 Canadian brochure). This claim is false:

  1. Only 10 C-295s are in operation, according to the Jan. 16, 2006 Aviation Week Space Tech Sourcebook.
  2. Only 37 planes have been ordered order so far, according to the Aviation Week Space Tech Sourcebook.
  3. EADS CASA has falsely claimed orders received - in Australia, Brazil, Finland, Portugal, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.
  4. In Australia, the C-295 never went past the Request for Information (RFI) stage, and was not selected; the government canceled the program.
  5. In Brazil, the government has provided no procurement funds for several years, so the company can't claim Brazil as a sale.
  6. In Finland, the C-295 has been selected, but is not under contract.
  7. In Portugal, the C-295 has been selected but is not under contract.
  8. In Switzerland, no political decision has been made to buy the plane, there is no military support for the plane, and the plane has not been ordered.
  9. The UAE has selected the C-295 but the program has not been funded.
  10. An EADS news release says the company sold C-295s to Algeria, but public record of any EADS CASA sale to that country is not known to exist.
  11. On the other hand, Venezuela has ordered the C-295, issued the contract and paid the cash deposit. But Washington is against the deal on policy grounds and has forbidden EADS CASA from using American-made parts in the Venezuela-bound planes. EADS CASA lobbyists in Washington are pretending that the company is against the deal and that it won't go through.


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