In recent weeks, important contractual issues surrounding the A400M airlifter have been resolved. First, Airbus Military signed a formal agreement to amend the development and production contract with the seven European launch nations, represented by the OCCAR procurement agency.
EADS announced “the conclusion” of talks to amend the Airbus A400M airlifter development and production contract with the seven European partner nations.
France and the UK signed a wide-ranging defense pact with far-reaching consequences for operational and industrial policy. The two countries will create an integrated carrier strike group and coordinate refits to ensure that one British or French aircraft carrier is always operational.
Mach 2 Management (M2M), an event/marketing company, has announced a strategic alliance with the Veterans Airlift Command (VAC). The VAC provides free transportation to wounded veterans and their families for medical and other compassionate purposes via a national network of volunteer aircraft owners and pilots. M2M will help VAC to identify and confirm sustainable corporate sponsorship.
Airlift manufacturers were prominent at last month’s African Aerospace and Defence show in Cape Town, highlighting the need of the South African Air Force (SAAF) to renew its air transport fleet.
Robust and versatile, the series of small-medium tactical transports designed by CASA in Spain are still enjoying steady sales after more than 40 years. Now owned by EADS and marketed by Airbus Military, the C-212, CN-235 and C-295 have logged 817 sales to 127 operators in 58 countries. “These aircraft are little jewels. They are our bread-and-butter, and deserve more headlines,” said Airbus Military CEO Domingo Urena.
So the A400M is now named the Grizzly. Or is it? Upon closer investigation, yesterday’s christening ceremony may not have conferred a definitive moniker on Europe’s new airlifter. Airbus Military spokeswoman Barbara Kracht told AIN that the bearish name applies only to the flight test aircraft. For the moment. “Maybe it will become official, eventually,” she said.
Talks to amend the Airbus A400M development and production contract will drag on into the autumn as the moratorium on funding imposed by the European partner nations continues.
Germany is negotiating to reduce the number of A400M airlifters that it will receive from Airbus Military. Like the UK, it wants to take a cut in fleet size as its contribution to the €2 billion of additional A400M funding that was agreed in principle by the seven European customer nations last March.
EADS will receive an extra €2 billion to continue the A400M program, as well as a loan of €1.5 billion to be repaid as a levy on future exports of the airlifter. An ”understanding” with the eight European partner nations also includes forgiveness of all late delivery penalties to date, and an acceleration of pre-delivery payments.