Europe postpones A400M decision one month – official


European nations have agreed to postpone their decision on the delayed A400M troop transporter by a further month, Spain’s junior defence minister Constantino Mendez said on Monday.

The current three-month moratorium on Europe‘s biggest defence project was due to expire at the end of this month and prevents either customers or Airbus from taking drastic action over the project, Reuters reports.

“The ministers’ decision is to prolong the moratorium one more month in order to establish the terms of the negotiation,” Mendez said after a meeting of the European nations involved in the plane project.

“Once the terms of the negotiation have been established, we are going to enter into a final period which will be called the period of renegotiation of the contract.”

Europe‘s flagship €20 billion euro ($28 billion) defence programme is already more than three years late. Britain is pushing for financial concessions on the project.

Britain still wants to commit to the delayed A400M project but still has to make a lot of progress with Airbus to save the project, a minister said yesterday.

Asked after the meeting whether Britain was still committed to the A400M, British defence procurement minister Quentin Davies said: “We will be if we can be, but we need to make a very great deal of progress with (Airbus) industry in order to save this project.”