Airbus A 400

Discussion in 'Americas' started by Sridhar, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    EADS: successful flight acceptance of digital map generator

    [​IMG]

    Map Generator EADS sml 25 Jun 2009 EADS PR: The Digital Map Generator System (DMGS) from EADS Defence & Security (DS) has been certified for use on board the A400M military transport aircraft in good time. Approval for use in flight was granted as part of a first flight acceptance review carried out by Airbus.

    “Our many years of experience with digital map generators, which offer pilots a large amount of valuable information, is based on developments for combat aircraft and military helicopters,” explains Bernd Wenzler, CEO of Defence Electronics. “Thanks to our successful products we have demonstrated our leading role in the field of digital map generators on board European platforms.”

    The DMGS is part of a product family of navigation and tactical information systems which Defence Electronics in Friedrichshafen has developed for many different types of military aircraft. For example, a modified version of the system adapted to meet the individual operational requirements is also deployed in the Eurofighter as well as in the Tiger and NH90 helicopters of the German Armed Forces.

    Defence Electronics’ digital map generator allows coloured topographic maps to be displayed in real time and data specific to the mission to be superimposed over them. This means that the transport aircraft pilots are given an instrument inside the cockpit, allowing them to quickly and exactly determine their position, the flight path and any threats during a mission and to react accordingly. Moreover, the map data enable special information relevant to the flight such as on flight corridors or approach and takeoff procedures to be overlaid in the display. A further benefit for the pilots is the automatic superimposition of tactical information.

    8ak - Indian Defence News: EADS: successful flight acceptance of digital map generator
     
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  3. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    Airbus A400 quenching Mirages

    [​IMG]

    Artist's impression of an Airbus A400M refuelling two French Air Force Mirages.
     
  4. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    Airbus says its long-delayed A400M military transport aircraft should make its first test flight during the week beginning 7 December.

    The European aerospace giant said the test flight would go ahead "weather permitting".

    The A400M was designed to replace ageing military cargo carriers in several European air forces.

    However, a series of technical problems have dogged the project and led to the delays.

    The aircraft was due to enter service with air forces this year, but this has now been put back to 2013.

    Amid growing concern, French and German officials have given the firm until the end of the year to prove that the project remains viable.

    Earlier this month, South Africa cancelled a multi-billion dollar contract for eight A400Ms, citing escalating costs and delivery delays.

    The deal for the planes was signed a number of years ago, when the proposed cost was significantly less.
     
  5. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    Heading into the blue three years late, Airbus's troubled A400M 'flying truck' military transport plane lifts off for its maiden flight.

    The plane took off from Seville, in Spain, yesterday, with the flags of nine countries emblazoned on its side - the seven Nato nations plus Malaysia, which has ordered several planes, and South Africa, which recently pulled out of its order.

    Britain has ordered up to 20 of the planes but the project has been dogged by delays and cost-overuns.

    [​IMG]
    We have lift-off: The A400 Airbus finally gets into the sky, and the design specifications that make it so special

    Defence officials are due to meet in the next few days to discuss the next step for the beleaguered project, which is running three years behind schedule.

    Nicknamed the 'Grizzly' for its hulking design, the original price agreed by eight Nato nations with Airbus maker EADS for 180 planes was £20billion. But auditors believe the cost could rise by £5billion - raising fears the UK cannot afford it at a time of budget cuts.

    Negotiators between the nations are looking for ways to close the cash gap without asking taxpayers for any more money. But Britain has made it clear there is no new cash available during the recession.

    [​IMG]
    It can hold 116 soldiers or fully-equipped paratroopers. Specially moulded wheel bays, shaped like canoes fixed along the side of the plane, allow paratroopers to jump two at a time without colliding by making the airflow smoother

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    The aircraft prepares for take-off in Seville, Spain. The project was launched six years ago but is running at least three years behind schedule


    One way being considered to square the circle would be to deliver about 25 per cent fewer planes under the same budget.

    But Germany is so far reluctant to make concessions on price that would involve a reduction in guaranteed deliveries.

    An MoD spokesman said: 'The UK remains committed to A400M, but not at any cost.

    'We regard the ongoing negotiations as the best means by which to determine a more deliverable programme.'

    [​IMG]
    The A400M is designed to replace Lockheed Martin Corp.'s aging C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft (pictured) used by the US Air Force as well as the retired C-160 Transall transport aircraft developed by a French and German consortium

    Some details on the pan-European airlifter

    DESIGN: It is the first high-wing aircraft with a T-shaped tail ever built by Airbus, known for its classic low-wing airliners. Some 30 per cent of the wide-body plane is made of weight-saving carbon-fibre composites including most of the wings. As on many modern airliners, pilots control the plane using electronics or 'fly-by-wire' systems rather than activating mechanical pulleys.

    ENGINES: The plane's four 11,000-shaft-horsepower engines are the biggest turbo-props ever developed in the West. The TP400-D6 engines were developed by a European team including Rolls-Royce, Safran and MTU Aero Engines. A local solution was chosen after governments blocked Airbus's preference for an imported engine made by Pratt & Whitney of Canada, sparking a row over political interference. Airbus blames engine problems for much of the three to four year delay.

    PROPELLERS: Each engine has eight Ratier-Figeac propeller blades measuring 5m tip-to-tip. The blades on each wing pair rotate inwards in a clockwise/anti-clockwise pattern pioneered by the legendary Russian Tupolev Tu-95 'Bear' strategic bomber.

    SOFTWARE: Much attention has been given to crucial engine software, known as FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control). Writing and documenting the software to civil certification standards proved a daunting task and contributed to delays. The code was twice as long as that on the world's largest civil jet engine.

    PAYLOAD VS RANGE: With a typical 20-ton payload, the A400M can fly 4,000 miles. It can haul 30 ton over a distance of 2,800 miles. Its maximum payload is 37 tons.

    WHAT IT CAN CARRY: The 340 cubic metre hold can carry an NH-90 transport helicopter or CH-47 Chinook or a container truck or two infantry vehicles. For emergencies it has room for 125 stretchers plus an intensive care unit. It can hold 116 soldiers or fully-equipped paratroopers. Specially moulded wheel bays, shaped like canoes fixed along the side of the plane, allow paratroopers to jump two at a time without colliding by making the airflow smoother.

    WHERE IT CAN LAND: Airbus says the 12-wheel landing gear allows it to land on soft and rough airstrips as short as 750m (2,500ft).

    SPEED AND HEIGHT: The maximum speed of Mach 0.72 corresponds to 420 knots 'true air speed' at medium altitude. At low altitudes it can slow to less than 110 knots to refuel helicopters - that is 20 knots less than that approach speed of a small jetliner. A knot is one nautical mile per hour.

    TANKER: It doubles as a refuelling tanker and can be refuelled itself.

    COMPETITION: With a ticket price around £90million, it aims for a niche between the veteran Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules turbo-prop, whose modern stretched version lifts 21 ton, and the Boeing C-17, a transporter jet with a capacity of 75 ton and capable of landing on semi-prepared airstrips. In practice all three compete to some extent, market experts say.
     
  6. F-14

    F-14 Global Defence Moderator Senior Member

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    the A-400M is a cross between the C-5 and the C-130 herc
     
  7. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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  8. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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  9. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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  10. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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  11. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    It flies! Airbus' hulking A400M has maiden flight
    By EMMA VANDORE (AP) – 2 days ago
    SEVILLE, Spain — The A400M military transport plane that has been causing Airbus and European defense ministers budgetary and logistical headaches finally took to the skies for its maiden flight on Friday.
    But even as the hulking gray airlifter took off from the Spanish city of Seville, defense officials are meeting on the sidelines of the event to decide how to continue with the much delayed and over budget project.
    Louis Gallois, head of Airbus parent EADS, said he found the takeoff "more moving than I expected. It's enormous. We've been waiting a long time."
    He disappeared into the VIP tent — where journalists are not allowed — when asked about cost overruns.
    The A400M program was launched six years ago with an order for 180 planes from seven governments — Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey. The project is running at least three years late.
    The original price was euro20 billion ($29.46 billion), but a preliminary report by auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers said EADS might need an extra euro5 billion — inflating the final bill by 25 percent, a person familiar with the talks said on condition of anonymity, as he is not authorized to speak to reporters.
    Airbus CEO Tom Enders declined to talk about the A400M's funding gap, saying "I am not talking about any sums of money today, we are celebrating the first flight."
    "There are ongoing negotiations," he said. "I hope we can conclude them in the weeks ahead."
    Enders told The Associated Press that he enjoyed a breakfast of croissants and "very strong coffee" with the six man crew Friday morning to wish the two test pilots and four engineers good luck.
    "They were very confident," he said.
    Friday's flight is testing basic functions such as the landing gear and the flaps. It marks the beginning of a three-year flight test program.
    The 127 ton (140 short tons) plane took off 15 minutes late after a few glitches with the flight instruments, said Fernando Alonso, head of Flight Operations at Airbus. It headed southwest, over the Spanish region of Extremadura.
    At a briefing an hour after lift-off, Alonso said that "everything is going fine" and the crew "feel very comfortable with the airplane."
    The crew, dressed in orange jump suits, are equipped with parachutes and helmets just in case.
    "It's only after they land that we will be able to party," Alonso said.
    EADS has asked governments to renegotiate the initial contract, which was agreed along the lines of Airbus' standard fixed price commercial contracts, rather than a risk-sharing military deal.
    Enders has slammed the contract agreed by his predecessor, which saddles the European planemaker with most of the costs of delays.
    But asking governments to pay more has become difficult at a time when countries' budgets have ballooned as they fight off the worst of the economic crisis.
    As well as raising the price, officials could agree to cut the number of planes on order, reduce the specifications, or spread increased payments out over time.
    Officials meeting in Seville will try to overcome a deadlock between countries such as France and Britain, whose militaries need the aircraft urgently, and other countries, such as Germany, that have budget concerns.
    Ministers are hoping to agree in principle to continue with the project before the end of the year, according to the person familiar with the talks. But the tricky details probably won't be pinned down until the contract signing in late March or early April, the person said.
    As well as price, governments need to decide on technical specifications and delivery schedule.
    Abandoning the project would cost EADS euro5.7 billion ($8.4 billion) in advance payments it would have to return to governments — and would dent its credibility. It has already has put aside euro2.4 billion in provisions against losses related to the plane.
    The A400M is designed to replace Lockheed Martin Corp.'s aging C-130 Hercules cargo aircraft used by the U.S. Air Force as well as the retired C-160 Transall transport aircraft developed by a French and German consortium.
    It should almost double its predecessors' cargo capacity and have a range of up to 4,000 miles (6,400 kilometers).
    South Africa recently pulled out of an order for eight A400Ms, leaving Malaysia as the only export customer.
    The flying truck, designed for combat missions in rugged areas like Afghanistan as well as humanitarian missions, took off on Friday with nine flags on its side — the seven nations, Malaysia as well as South Africa.
    "Maybe the South Africans will be so impressed by the flight today they ... will come back'," Enders said hopefully.


    The Associated Press: It flies! Airbus' hulking A400M has maiden flight
     
  12. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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  13. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    on the A400

    On a Wing and a Prayer

    Europe's new military transport aircraft is finally flying -- but that shouldn't be a cause for celebration.
    BY BJOERN SEIBERT | DECEMBER 14, 2009
    [​IMG]

    SOURCE: On a Wing and a Prayer | Foreign Policy

    Europe is in a celebratory mood: Its multibillion-dollar transport aircraft, in development for 15 years, can fly! Commentators across the continent have hailed last week's successful maiden flight as the milestone that could save the troubled program. But despite all the excitement, the A400M's future was secured long before it took off. Although the final word has not yet been spoken, several months earlier Europe sent the signal that it would bail out the program. And it's for reasons that should not be cause for celebration.

    In July, European governments had the chance to opt out and get their money back. The aircraft's manufacturer, Airbus, had been in violation of several contract provisions. Although the first planes should have been delivered this year, the aircraft had not even entered the lengthy flight-testing process. Rather, it gradually became clear that the A400M would be delayed at least three to four years. This delay meant serious trouble for most European states, as it would exacerbate existing shortfalls in strategic and tactical airlift capabilities.

    Actual delivery dates were not the only source of concern. Questions about the A400M's performance also surfaced. Airbus has already announced that the plane isn't able to carry out some navigational and low-level flight maneuvers. More importantly, during the development phase, the aircraft was considerably heavier than expected. According to a French Senate report, the aircraft weighed 12 tons more than projected, a level of extra weight that would shorten range, reduce payload, and lengthen takeoff.

    Worse yet, in addition to lateness and questions about performance, the aircraft's cost was spiraling out of control. The $30 billion program had already experienced a cost overrun of nearly $11 billion, with a potential risk of $4.5 billion more to come. Of these, Airbus is trying to unload $7.3 billion on its customers by renegotiating the agreed-upon price. This cost is on top of whatever customers are already paying for the interim solutions they've had to come up with while they wait for the aircraft to be delivered.

    Despite this, European customers decided not to walk away from the program. Instead, they agreed to enter renegotiations with Airbus, without seriously considering a Plan B. The signal was clear: The troubled program would be bailed out.

    Why would European governments be willing to drop the delivery schedule and performance targets, and pay substantially more? The logic of Europe's continuing support for the program seems hard to follow -- especially at a time of intense budgetary pressures, increased operational needs, and the availability of viable alternatives.

    The explanation is simple but troubling. The A400M program was always meant to provide more than airlift capability. By opting for a European solution, governments hoped to strengthen an independent European aerospace and defense industry and promote defense cooperation. The A400M, Europe reasoned, would allow it to capture a share of the defense market, create thousands of jobs, and compete with the United States. The choice unapologetically served political ends as much as military ones. In other words, the A400M was far more than just an aircraft.

    As the program ran into trouble, the option of dropping it was never credibly on the table. No alternative was ever crafted. It was instead simply accepted that such a step would weaken a European industrial champion and more broadly undermine the effort to create a joint European industry. This message was not lost on the manufacturer, which understood that the order would not be called back no matter what.

    Some may argue that this sort of protectionism is the price of Europe's independence. This view is flawed. Rather, such complacency undercuts the very political objectives Europe had set out to achieve.

    Limited capabilities already restrain Europe's ability to undertake military operations, a situation further exacerbated by growing budgetary constraints. Instead of increasing European military capability and independence, the A400M program's delivery delays and cost overruns have already negatively affected both. The result is less flexibility and autonomy for European militaries, which should be of concern not only to Europe but its allies across the world.

    Furthermore, by fostering inefficiencies, European governments' unequivocal support of the A400M undermines the long-term prospects of the industry they hope to promote. Europe's defense market is in fact too small, which makes its defense industry heavily dependent on exports. With fast-climbing costs, reduced capability, and delayed delivery, the export prospects of the A400M are slim. South Africa's recent exit from the A400M program, leaving current exports to only four aircraft, highlights this fact. This will also mean that the jobs European governments tried to protect will be jeopardized in the long run.

    The problems encountered by the A400M are unfortunately not an isolated case. The previous flagship program of European defense collaboration, the Eurofighter Typhoon, has been haunted by similar problems; neither delivered on its promise to produce capable, cost-efficient, and globally competitive products.

    It does not have to be this way, however. All collaborative defense projects have important political dimensions, but this doesn't mean they should be pursued at all cost. European defense collaboration has the potential to deliver excellent and globally competitive products. To achieve this, however, Europe must draw the right lessons from this experience. First, no programs, or companies, should be too big to fail. Second, alternatives should always remain credibly on the table. Third, and finally, European defense industries should only be propped up when they deliver. Unless Europe takes these lessons seriously, the next European defense collaboration projects will produce the same results, and Europe will continue to lose more than it gains.
     
  14. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    we should have collaborated with europeans for MTA project ,it would have been over by now ( by that i mean 2013),no worries still , Ukraine and India will come out with better transport aircraft ( i only hope ,also because Ukraine has experience in transport aircraft technology
     
  15. bengalraider

    bengalraider DFI Technocrat Stars and Ambassadors

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    The MTA is an Indo-Russian project , the Ukraine is not involved.
     
  16. bhramos

    bhramos Elite Member Elite Member

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    Airbus Ready to Ditch A400M!!!

    Airbus Ready to Ditch A400M

    FRANKFURT, Germany - The head of European plane maker Airbus is preparing to ditch its A400M military transport project which is bogged down in talks with clients, a German press report said Jan. 5.

    Thomas Enders reportedly told a group of Airbus directors last month he "no longer believed in pursuing the program" and had begun to prepare for it to be terminated, the Financial Times Deutschland said.

    Lists of engineers to be transferred from the A400M to the development of two other key aircraft, the A380 superjumbo and the A350, have already been drawn up, the newspaper said.

    Airbus and its parent group, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), have been in discussions over cost overruns for several months with seven countries that were to buy the transport plane.

    A total of 120 aircraft had been ordered for about $29 billion (20 billion euros), but clients are being asked to pony up billions more to cover unexpected costs.

    The newspaper said Enders estimated the chances of reaching an agreement at about 50-50.

    And the German boss "is not ready to threaten the civil aviation division, which is doing well, just for the A400M," a source close to the matter was quoted as saying.

    The plane made its maiden flight on Dec. 11 in Spain, but deliveries are at least three years behind schedule.

    Report: Airbus Ready to Ditch A400M - Defense News
     
  17. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    PARIS - France insisted Jan. 6 that the European EADS group must complete the Airbus A400M military transport plane project, after a report that it wants to pull out triggered sharp words from Germany.

    French Defence Minister Herve Morin said that the much-delayed contract must be fulfilled and insisted that client countries share the unforeseen extra costs, which he estimated at 5 billion euros.

    "We want this program to be completed," Morin said in a televised interview. "We have put all possible technological efforts into this plane."

    He had said earlier that talk of dropping the project was a bid by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company to gain leverage in refinancing talks and pointed the finger at the German government, which is reportedly reluctant to share the mounting costs.

    According to a report in the Financial Times Deutschland on Jan. 5, Airbus chief Thomas Enders told a group of Airbus directors he "no longer believed in pursuing the program" and had begun to prepare for it to be terminated.

    Morin said Jan. 5 that this was "a way of putting pressure on the German government" to help pay for completion of the project.

    Developing the innovative high-tech aircraft has proved much more costly and time-consuming than first planned when the project was agreed to in 2003 by NATO members Germany, Spain, France, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg.

    A total of 120 aircraft had been ordered for about $29 billion (20 billion euros), but clients are being asked to put up billions more to cover unexpected costs.

    On Jan. 6, Morin criticized Airbus, the pride of the French aeronautic industry, for its handling of the civil contract for the planes.

    He said it should have drawn up a specific military contract, in which "there are always clauses that allow the price to be re-evaluated because we know there are always cost increases with military programs."

    The German defense ministry has said it aims to continue with the program and hoped talks could be wrapped up the end of the month, but Morin told BFM radio that Germany was a sticking point in the search for extra funding.

    A source close to the German defense ministry was quoted Jan. 6 in the newspaper Handelsblatt as saying: "It is out of the question for us to pay more than the 650 million euros extra stipulated in the contract."
     
  18. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    The Airbus A400M takes to the skies in Spain on its maiden flight

    The chief executive of Airbus has warned he is prepared to cancel production of the company's A400M military transport plane.

    Tom Enders told BBC World that he would consider ending the programme if European governments failed to cough up more cash.

    "We cannot complete the development of this aircraft without a significant financial contribution," he said.

    Delays to the A400M project have already increased its budget by 25%.

    The project is now 5bn euros ($7.25bn; £4.5bn) over its initial budget as a result of weight and engine problems.

    The seven European governments that have ordered the plane will decide by the end of January whether to pay more.

    Fixed price error

    Seven countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK - have ordered 180 A400M aircraft in total between them.

    Under contracts signed ahead of the start of the programme six years ago, Airbus has agreed to sell them the planes for a fixed price.

    "We made a big mistake when we [entered into] contracts for this aircraft six or seven years ago," Mr Enders said, speaking to BBC World Business Report.

    "If you make mistakes don't repeat them. We should not again take a decision which would lead us to further problems in the years to come."

    However he added that the final decision on whether to scrap the project would be the decision of the whole board at Airbus' parent company EADS.

    Customers disagree

    The A400M, which was designed to fly troops and equipment, is set to replace ageing military cargo carriers in several European air forces.

    It had been due to go into service last year, but will not take to the skies until 2012 at the earliest. The delay led to South Africa cancelling an order for eight planes.

    There is a split between those countries who want the aircraft built and in use quickly, notably the UK and France, and those who would prefer to proceed more slowly to spread the cost, in particular Germany.

    Serious threat

    Ditching the A400M would cost EADS some 5.7bn euros in advance payments - more than double the 2.4bn euros it has already set aside to cover losses it expects to incur from the project.

    There is every chance such losses could rise further, so analysts say Mr Enders' warning is more than just posturing aimed at putting pressure on European governments.

    "There will come a point where it is better for EADS to simply walk away," said Nomura aerospace analyst Jason Adams.

    Doing so would severely damage Airbus' reputation and boost arch rival Boeing, which has seen the order book for its A400M rival, the C-17, swell.
     
  19. Sridhar

    Sridhar House keeper Moderator

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    UPDATE 2-A400M partners agree to seek funding deal

    Fri Jan 15, 2010 8:55am EST
    * Germany says countries have joint position on A400M
    * EADS says ready to find acceptable solution to cost spike
    (Recasts, adds quotes)
    By Tim Hepher and Gernot Heller
    PARIS/BERLIN, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Partners in the Airbus A400M military plane pledged on Friday to seek an "acceptable" deal over a massive cost blow-out that threatens the future of Europe's largest arms project, easing a chill in negotiations.
    Germany, which has so far opposed moves to provide increased European government help for the delayed troop transporter, said buyers were committed to sticking with the project "but not at any price" and signalled talks with Airbus in coming days.
    EADS shares were up 1.3 percent to 14.4 euros by 1342 GMT.
    The A400M is Europe's attempt to build a home-grown troop and heavy equipment transporter for global military and humanitarian missions by seven NATO countries -- Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey.
    Its future has been threatened by an 11 billion euros ($16 billion) or 55 percent surge in combined development and production costs, overshadowing a successful maiden flight last month. [ID:nGEE5BA0E6]
    Airbus parent EADS (EAD.PA) said it was ready to negotiate an "acceptable" funding deal at a meeting of junior defence ministers which it expected to be invited to next week.
    The move follows a meeting of buyers in London on Thursday and marks a possible thaw in negotiations after EADS complained it had been left out of crucial meetings and set a Jan. 31 deadline for an agreement to avoid scrapping the plane.
    But there was no immediate indication how far either side was prepared to compromise and some sources close to the negotiations suggested it may take the involvement of European leaders, notably French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to clinch a final accord.
    "The talks continue at working level with strong involvement of the ministries concerned. The French would like to see the whole issue treated at top level, but that's not the case yet," an aide to one European leader told Reuters.

    PRICE HIKE
    France said this week it was ready to contribute to a funding deal and suggested one could be finalised on the sidelines of an informal NATO meeting in Istanbul on Feb 4-5.
    That meeting takes place shortly after an international leaders' conference on Afghanistan in London on Jan 28 where A400M buyer nations could also conduct any necessary side talks.
    A similar deadlock over the future of the next phase of the Eurofighter Typhoon combat jet was lifted after Merkel and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown intervened last year.
    A German spokesman said buyers had hammered out a joint position and agreed on Thursday to invite Airbus to talks on an "acceptable" solution by the end of January.
    The planemaker's efforts to impose a deadline had initially rankled with Berlin which said it would not be held to ransom.
    Germany is the largest A400M customer with 60 out of 180 planes on order.
    Berlin has so far rejected a proposal by EADS that would see the seven launch nations pay up indirectly for an overrun in production costs, pegged by sources at 5.2 billion euros, but it is widely assumed it would be willing to do a deal on its terms.
    To avoid triggering unpopular spending decisions during the economic crisis, the proposal being discussed would not involve new taxpayer money in the short run. It would instead engineer a 25 percent price hike per plane by delivering correspondingly fewer planes under the original budget 20 billion euros budget.
    In return, industry sources say EADS has offered to shoulder up to 6 billion euros in development "risk," of which 2.4 billion euros has already been provisioned in its accounts.
    This so-called tranche approach would leave some 40 of the 180 planes in budget limbo until after 2020 when nations could either put up more money or leave Airbus to try to export them. ($1=.6931 euros) (Additional reporting by Paul Carrel; Editing by Mike Nesbit)



    UPDATE 2-A400M partners agree to seek funding deal | Reuters
     
  20. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    BERLIN - Talks in Berlin on the troubled Airbus A400M military transport plane ended without a breakthrough on Friday but the parties still aim to reach an agreement by January 31, Germany said.

    The talks on Jan. 21-22 among representatives from seven NATO powers that have ordered the aircraft and Airbus parent EADS were conducted in a "constructive atmosphere," defense ministry spokesman Christian Dienst said. "The countries and EADS are to meet again soon with the goal of reaching a solution acceptable to all by the end of January," Dienst told a regular government briefing in Berlin.

    The seven countries have ordered 180 of the aircraft for 20 billion euros ($28 billion) from European plane maker Airbus but the project is three years behind schedule and a reported 11 billion euros over budget.

    Airbus has threatened to pull the plug unless the seven - Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey - stump up more cash, warning that the fate of the European aerospace giant depended on the project.

    France has said it is ready to pay more, as long as others follow suit, but Germany is seen as more reluctant. Berlin has ordered 60 of the aircraft and France 50, and are the two biggest customers.

    "We stand by the A400M, but not at any price," Dienst said.

    French business daily La Tribune cited an unidentified source on its website as saying the program needs an extra 5.2 billion euros and that EADS in Berlin had offered to provide 800 million euros of this.

    Contacted by AFP, EADS declined to comment on the report.

    Airbus has 52,000 employees around Europe, with about 10,000 working on the A400M, a state-of-the-art new aircraft that can carry troops, armored vehicles and helicopters which would replace Europe's ageing fleet of transport planes.

    The date and location of the next round of talks were under discussion, Dienst said.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke on the phone Jan. 21 but the A400M was not among the issues discussed, Merkel's spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm said.

    Instead the two discussed preparations for next week's meeting in London on Afghanistan and upcoming Franco-German talks in Paris on February 4, Wilhelm said.
     
  21. enlightened1

    enlightened1 Member of The Month JANUARY 2010

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    BERLIN - European aerospace giant EADS is demanding another 6.4 billion euros ($9 billion) from client countries to cover the rising cost of the Airbus A400M military plane, Germany said Jan. 28.

    The figure is more than three times higher than the two billion euros the seven client nations are willing to pay to get the long-delayed project off the ground, the Bundestag lower house of parliament said in a statement.
    Berlin nevertheless expects a deal to be reached "next week or the week after," albeit after an initial deadline of January 31.

    The figures emerged during a hearing late Wednesday with a representative of the German defense ministry before the budgetary committee on progress in the protracted negotiations between EADS and the client countries' governments.

    "According to the ministry, all seven European nations that want to buy the transport plane have dismissed these demands as 'baseless'," the Bundestag said in a statement.

    "Nevertheless, Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said we are ready to negotiate at the state-secretary level because, in terms of security policy, the transport plane has no alternative."

    Three crisis meetings this month have failed to produce a breakthrough.

    Seven countries have ordered 180 of the aircraft for 20 billion euros ($28 billion) from European plane maker Airbus but the project is three years behind schedule and a reported 11 billion euros over budget.

    Airbus has threatened to pull the plug unless the seven - Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey - stump up more cash, warning that the fate of the European aerospace giant depended on the project.

    Airbus has 52,000 employees around Europe, with about 10,000 working on the A400M, a state-of-the-art new aircraft that can carry troops, armored vehicles and helicopters and would replace Europe's ageing fleet of transport planes.
     

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