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Europe's A400M may be delayed another year-report

PARIS, Feb 22 (Reuters) - The A400M military transport aircraft is unlikely to be delivered before late 2013, adding another year to its already delayed schedule, French daily La Tribune reported on its website on Sunday.

Citing officials at the Defense Ministry in France, which is the first country due to receive the aircraft, the newspaper said French military customers were not satisfied with the timetable provided by its manufacturer, European aerospace group EADS EAD.PA.

“We have analyzed the calendar of EADS and one more year will be required compared to the four announced,” the newspaper quoted French defense officials saying.

EADS had no immediate comment on the report.

Airbus parent EADS has already said that a basic model of the plane would not be delivered until three years after its first flight, which is expected in the second half of this year.

A French Senate report said this month that the 20-billion-euro ($25.15 billion) project was already effectively four to five years late because of the time needed to build up a meaningful fleet of operational aircraft.

The A400M was ordered in 2003 by seven European NATO countries to provide urgently-needed airlift for combat zones such as Afghanistan as well as for humanitarian missions.

EADS has taken provisions for over 1.7 billion euros for the delays and is negotiating with European governments led by France, Germany and Britain to ease delivery penalties. ($1=0.7952 Euro)

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