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The European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company N.V. (EADS) is a large pan-European aerospace and defence corporation and a leading defence and military contractor worldwide. The group includes Airbus as the leading manufacturer of commercial aircraft, with Airbus Military covering tanker, transport and mission aircraft; Eurocopter as the world's largest helicopter supplier; Astrium, the European leader in space programmes from Ariane to Galileo; and Cassidian as a provider of comprehensive and integral systems solutions for aerial, land, naval and civilian security applications. Through Cassidian, EADS is a major partner in the Eurofighter consortium as well as a key stakeholder in the missile systems provider MBDA. In 2009, the EADS generated revenues of 42.82 billion and employed 119,500 personnel. EADS was formed on 10 July 2000 by the merger of Aérospatiale-Matra of France, DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) of Germany, and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) of Spain. Overall, the company develops and markets civil and military aircraft, as well as communications systems, missiles, space rockets, satellites, and related systems. The company is headquartered in Leiden, the Netherlands, and operates under Dutch law.



The 1997 merger of American corporations Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, which followed the forming of Lockheed Martin, the world's largest defence contractor in 1995, increased the pressure on European defence companies to consolidate.[citation needed] In June 1997, British Aerospace Defence Managing Director John Weston commented "Europe... is supporting three times the number of contractors on less than half the budget of the U.S.".[2] European governments wished to see the merger of their defence manufacturers into a single entity, a European Aerospace and Defence Company.[3]

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