Fri, Feb 26, 2010
Project Still $7 Billion Short
Enders, the president and CEO of Airbus says he is confident that
the NATO countries who are partners in the A400M project will come
to an agreement on how to share the cost overruns for the
long-delayed military transport.
Britain, France, Germany, Spain Belgium, Luxembourg, and Turkey
are working to come up with an equitable plan that will provide
enough money for the program to continue. EADS has said it is ready
to discontinue the A400M unless the seven nations can find an
additional $7 billion for the plane.
The international news service AFP reports that Enders made
the comments while in Tokyo. "I believe that we are close to
an agreement," he said, adding "I think we get a significant
contribution from the nations to this important project."
Spanish Defence Minister Carme Chacon said Wednesday an
agreement had been reached in principle, but a spokesman for the
German Defense Ministry said so far there has been "no written
response" on the part of the seven nations on the proposal.
Those seven nations have ordered 180 of the A400M airlifters
worth about $27 billion. Those orders were made in 2003, and the
plane didn't fly until the very end of last year, nearly 7 years
later. Enders said that, at the time, the company made a mistake in
accepting a contract that was clearly not founded appropriately and
accepting a timeline that was not appropriate."
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