Joined: 24 Dec 2006
|Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 4:56 am Post subject: A400M to be delayed
|Airbus to delay delivery of A400M military transport: sources
PARIS, France (AFP) — European aerospace manufacturer EADS is expected to decide soon on a delay of several months for the delivery of its military transport plane the A400M, sources said on Tuesday.
The new delay comes after Airbus said in July that the first flight of the A400M would be later than expected.
Sources familiar with the matter said delivery of the first A400Ms to the French airforce could be moved back from October 2009 to mid-2010.
At the end of September, the specialist magazine Air et Cosmos said the French defence ministry was expecting a delay of a year in deliveries.
Airbus has already been battered by delays in its superjumbo A380 plane, which was finally delivered to its first customer, Singapore Airlines, on Monday.
Industrial sources said the delay to the A400M was due to "slower than expected" development of the TP400 turboprop engines by the European engine company EPI, made up of France's Snecma, Germany's MTU, Britain's Rolls-Royce and Spain's ITP.
EADS officials acknowledged at the beginning of the year that there were delays on the assembly line and on the date of the first flight.
They said at the end of July that assembly would start at the end of August instead of the first quarter of 2007, and that the first flight was expected for mid-2008, instead of January.
EADS has already written a provision of 352 million euros (498 million dollars) into its accounts to deal with the delays.
The first A400M has been on the assembly line in the Spanish city of Sevilla since August 28 and trials of the electronic systems are expected to start this month, Airbus Military, which is responsible for the building of the plane, said.
The Airbus Military consortium is made up of Airbus with 64.8 percent, EADS-Casa 25.8 percent, Turkey's TAI 5.2 percent and Belgium's Flabel on 4.2 percent.
The first TP 400 engines should be delivered in January, which will allow test flights to begin.
The A400M, the most important military industrial programme ever carried out between European partners was launched by seven countries in May 2003.
Germany has ordered 60 planes, France 50, Spain 27, Britain 25, Turkey 10, Belgium 7 and Luxembourg 1.
South Africa has also ordered eight planes and Malaysia four.