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EADS, governments to meet Feb 4 on military plane

EADS, governments to meet Feb 4 on military plane

Government and industry representatives will hold another round of talks next week to seek an agreement on financing for the troubled Airbus A400M military transport plane, a German official said Friday.
The seven nations that have ordered the plane will meet with officials from EADS and its plane-making subsidiary, Airbus, next Thursday in Berlin, Defense Ministry spokesman Steffen Moritz said at a government press conference.
That coincides with a previously scheduled Franco-German summit being held in Paris the same day.
EADS has urged the seven countries _ Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey _ to increase their funding for the project by (EURO)6.4 billion (nearly $9 billion).
The European aerospace company had given the governments until the end of January to make a decision, threatening to scrap the program otherwise. Company spokesman Alexander Reinhardt on Friday declined to comment on the governments missing the deadline.
A third round of talks on Tuesday in the German capital ended without resolution. Germany has reportedly said the nations are prepared to contribute at most (EURO)2 billion extra.
EADS has put two offers on the table, both of which have been rejected, according to a person familiar with the negotiations who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the talks.
The A400M had its maiden flight last month. The price tag for the 180 planes ordered was fixed at almost (EURO)20 billion in the initial contract in 2003. But it is now four years behind schedule and more than (EURO)5 billion over budget.
The four-engine turboprop is seen as inhabiting an important niche market between the Lockheed Martin C-130J Hercules, which carries only half the payload, and Boeing's C-17 Globemaster III, which is larger, costlier, and less tactically versatile.
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AP Business Writer Emma Vandore contributed to this report from Paris.


Updated : 2020-12-06 02:54 GMT+08:00