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PARIS, May 14 (Reuters) - France is doing everything it can to save the much-delayed A400M military transport aircraft programme at Airbus, Defence Minister Herve Morin said on Thursday. Morin's comments come a day after Britain, one of seven countries to have ordered a total of 180 of the planes, said it remained committed to the programme, though "not at any cost".
"I'm doing everything I can to save this programme," Morin said on LCI television, adding that he had proposed a meeting on the subject with partner countries within the next 10 days. "It's far from being a done deal," he said, defending the programme as "a magnificent industrial project".
"We are the only ones in the world making this kind of aircraft so we absolutely have to succeed." The A400M, Europe's biggest military project, is already three to four years behind schedule. Airbus has indicated the first flight will occur no later than February 2010.
Originally posted by paraphi
A400M is a good plane and ticks many of the right boxes, but also ensures that the Europeans retain a key industrial capability. If the Brits had had there way then such capability would have been divested years ago and the Europeans would be entirely a client of the US.
I say "good for the French".
Originally posted by firepilot
A400 would have been well into its flight test program by now most likely if they had selected the Canadian bid, plus probably gotten orders from Canada out of it too.
May 29 (Bloomberg) -- Airbus SAS has asked its European partners in the A400M military air transport program for ``a greater degree of realism'' in order to enable delivery of ``the aircraft we all want at a sensible price,'' Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders writes in the Financial Times.
For Airbus to prosper, European governments need to agree on cross-border military aircraft programs similar to the European civil aviation ventures started 40 years ago when the first Airbus airplane was developed, Enders said.
``Massive investments needed on future aircraft are putting Airbus and its main competitor under considerable strain,'' Enders writes, while ``new orders are faltering and no one can confidently predict an upturn.''