BERLIN, June 21 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
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)