'Airbus A400M military transport facing three-year delay' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Airbus A400M military transport facing three-year delay'

india Updated: Feb 10, 2009 10:58 IST

Airbus's flagship A400M military transport plane is facing a three-year delay, Le Figaro reported on Tuesday, adding an estimated five billion euros to its price tag.

The French daily cited confidential documents which said the plane, originally due for delivery this year, would not be available before the end of 2012.

"The test flight is planned for the beginning of 2010 and the first delivery at the end of 2012," the report said, quoting a confidential note from Airbus Military to OCCAR, the European organisation for military cooperation that represents seven countries.

Deliveries had originally been scheduled to begin in 2009, but it is only in 2014 that Airbus' military subsidiary will be able to deliver significant numbers of the aircraft to clients, the newspaper reported.

The delay will cost Airbus dearly, with Le Figaro saying experts cited figures in the area of five billion euros (6.4 billion dollars), about the same as delays to the A380 superjumbo have cost the company.

The Financial Times Deutschland reported last month the A400M is overweight and cannot carry its designed payload, necessitating modifications.

The A400M is the most ambitious European military procurement programme. Begun in 2003, a total of 192 of the aircraft have been ordered so far for more than 20 billion euros.