Airbus to deliver first German A400M in 2014-paper
BERLIN, June 21
BERLIN, June 21 (Reuters) - Germany will not see the first delivery of A400M military transport aircraft it ordered from European planemaker Airbus EAD.PA before 2014, the Financial Times Deutschland newspaper reported.
In an advance copy of an article from Monday's edition, the paper said a new delivery timetable shows Airbus has further delayed its plans to deliver planes to the German Luftwaffe.
Seven European NATO countries have ordered the plane, designed to carry troops and heavy equipment to rugged areas such as Afghanistan, but development problems have delayed production and it has yet to make its maiden flight.
Development was held up mainly by engine difficulties but manufacturers also blame a laundry list of customised national requirements such as defensive aids and navigational features.
Germany, for example wants its 60 prop-driven A400Ms to have the ability to hug the landscape to avoid attack.
Britain, which ordered 25 of the 180 planes earmarked for European NATO countries, had threatened to pull out of the project over delays but has since signalled commitment to stay on board.
However sources have told Reuters it has put forward financial conditions other partners are unlikely to accept.
Buyers agreed a three-month moratorium preventing either side from taking drastic action over the project but this expires at the end of June with no sign of a common approach.
France and Germany this month backed the project and called for a further freeze of six months to allow more negotiations. (Reporting by Brian Rohan; Editing by Rupert Winchester)
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