ABU DHABI Feb 21 Airbus EAD.PA expects global
sales of its A400M military transport plane, a long-delayed
project plagued by cost overruns, to reach 400 over the next 30
years, a company official said on Monday.
Didier Vernet, Airbus's head of market development, said
Middle East and North African states were expected to order
between 50 and 100 planes.
"There are prospects for us when the countries phase out the
C-130 and C-17 (U.S. military cargo planes made by Lockheed
Martin and Boeing)," he told reporters on the sidelines of a
defence exhibition in the UAE capital.
He forecast global demand for military cargo planes to be
around 800 over the next 30 years and Airbus's military wing is
aiming for half of the market share.
"There are a lot of old aircraft to replace," Vernet said.
"The prospects for the coming 30 years are 400 aircraft."
The A400M is designed to transport soldiers and heavy
equipment to rugged combat zones. But technical problems have
pushed the 20 billion-euro ($27 billion) project four years
behind schedule and 11 billion euros over budget.
Last year European government buyers agreed a funding deal
to rescue the project. [ID:nLDE6A41R3]
The seven nations behind the project -- Belgium, Britain,
France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey -- have orders
totalling 174 planes.
Vernet also said Airbus Military has received orders from
Middle Eastern states for its A330 MRT in-flight refuelling and
He said Saudi Arabia has ordered six planes, the first of
which would be delivered in 2012 while the United Arab Emirates
has ordered three with the first planned for delivery later this
(Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Greg Mahlich)