Progress in A400M rescue talks – sources

Airbus parent EADS and European governments have made “progress” in defining the technical specifications of the A400M in a bid to restore production of the delayed military aircraft, sources close to the talks say.
Reuters reports that simplifying the technical requirements is one of three key stumbling blocks in talks between EADS and the seven European NATO countries aimed at rescuing Europe’s biggest military project, whose delays have angered Britain and Germany.
Other major debating points include the price of the transport plane — estimated at about €100 million ($131.7 million) each — and the need to agree a new delivery timetable.
“There has been good progress in defining the technical characteristics,” one of the sources said, without elaborating.
An Airbus Military spokeswoman declined to comment.
The A400M, designed to carry troops and heavy equipment to rugged areas like Afghanistan, was ordered by seven European NATO countries in 2003 for a total cost of €20 billion.