FRANKFURT Feb 1 The new head of Cassidian, the
defence arm of European aerospace group EADS, has vowed
to take the company's focus away from Europe after missing out
on a $15 billion Indian order for fighter jets last year.
Germany-based Cassidian had to do more to better understand
its customers and take more of an international view, Bernhard
Gerwert, chief-executive since September, said.
"We are still putting too much focus on Europe," he was
quoted as saying in Cassidian's employee magazine.
Gerwert said Cassidian aims to make 50 percent of its
revenues outside of Europe by 2016, compared with around 30
As part of that drive, on Friday Peter Gutsmiedl, already
CEO of its Indian unit, was appointed the company's first head
of Asia-Pacific to push for more business in the region.
Cassidian, as part of the Eurofighter Typhoon consortium,
lost out to France's Rafale last year in a contest to supply
India with 126 warplanes, after having been tipped as favourite.
It then launched a review of contract management and
initiated a management shake-up, appointing Gerwert as CEO in
"We lost a number of key international campaigns in 2012 due
to a lack of competitiveness and insufficient knowledge of our
customers," said Gerwert.
With traditional defence budgets in Europe and the U.S.
coming under pressure from government cutbacks, Cassidian will
also look to focus more on unmanned systems - also known as
drones - and products for the civil market, such as border
security and cyber security.
"We will invest in capability enhancements to the
Eurofighter for global export, unmanned aircraft systems, border
security and cyber security," Gerwert said.
The German defence minister said on Friday that the
country's military will acquire armed drones, to protect
soldiers in dangerous situations.
(Reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Victoria Bryan; Editing by