The seven nation Airbus A400M partnership has finally agreed upon a financial package to support the aircraft’s development.
The countries – the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium and Turkey – have agreed to pay €3.5bn (A$4.8bn) to continue the A400M’s development, clearing the way ahead for the airlifter.
“The A400M is an emblematic program which Europe could not abandon,” French defence minister Herve Morin told European media. “Giving it up would have meant Europe saying it wanted to be dependent on the United States in the 21st century.”
After being plagued by early development issues, schedule delays and cost overruns, the A400M flight test program has ramped up comparatively smoothly since first flight late last year. The seven partners have ordered 170 aircraft, down from the original 180, with the UK and Germany reducing their orders slightly.