Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

A400M saved by German bail-out plan

by Staff Writers
Berlin (UPI) Mar 8, 2009
Following long and protracted talks, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company and seven European governments struck a deal to save the Airbus A400M plane, Europe's troubled but most ambitious military project.

The deal, brokered by Germany, secures an estimated 10,000 jobs but calls on EADS and taxpayers from the seven countries involved in the project to share the cost of an additional $4.8 billion to cover project expense overruns.

The bailout plan follows threats from the European aerospace company to pull the plug on the project if an agreement to refinance construction of the A400M military transport plane wasn't swiftly reached.

The funding package includes a $2.7 billion increase on the original $30 billion contract, a pass on penalties on current delays and a new delivery schedule, Defense News reported.

Despite the bailout, the deal will have EADS, which competes with U.S. aerospace giant Boeing, posting more than $2 billion in losses for 2009, a company statement said.

Even so, it said the agreement provided for a "sound basis for a successful evolution of the A400M program."

The project was agreed to in 2003 with Airbus ordered to construct 180 A400Ms at a fixed price of $28.7 billion. Technical delays, ballooning costs and political blunders caused delays in the much-vaunted project, with the plane's maiden voyage taking place only last December in Seville, Spain.

The project now is expected to cost around 50 percent more than original estimates.

Germany, the biggest customer of the A400M has ordered 60 units. Other partner governments include France, Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey.

"EADS will strive to identify opportunities to significantly reduce risks in the A400M program and deliver a state-of-the-art product within the new frame of the contract," a company statement said.

Airbus claims the A400M, which uses the largest turboprop engines ever fitted on a Western aircraft, will be capable of carrying double the load of its top competitor, the Lockheed Hercules. Its fuel-efficient power plants will also make it cheaper to operate, compared to the C-17, military experts say.

With its ability to fly in and out of uncharted airstrips, the plane is viewed as a strategic asses for European nations that have long been hampered by shortfalls in military airlift capabilities.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
The Military Industrial Complex at
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Boeing To Offer NewGen Tanker To US Air Force
St. Louis MO (SPX) Mar 08, 2010
Boeing has announced that it will offer the Boeing NewGen Tanker in the competition to supply the U.S. Air Force with a multi-mission aerial refueling aircraft that will meet all the warfighter's mission requirements for the next several decades. Dennis Muilenburg, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space and Security, said the Boeing NewGen Tanker will satisfy all mandatory Air Force re ... read more

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement