Germany not considering scrapping A400M transport plane: Gov’t sources

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Published: May 31, 2016 9:41:54 PM

Germany is not considering cancelling the troubled Airbus Group SE A400M transport plane programme despite a series of problems that will affect the German military in 2018 and 2019, German government sources said on Tuesday.

Germany is not considering cancelling the troubled Airbus Group SE A400M transport plane programme despite a series of problems that will affect the German military in 2018 and 2019, German government sources said on Tuesday.

Airbus, Europe’s largest aerospace company, expects to deliver four to six A400M aircraft to the German military this year, the sources said.

The government is looking at options to deal with a temporary bottleneck in transport needs through leasing and other bilateral options with France, Britain and the United States, said the sources.

Germany has ordered 53 of the planes from Airbus, but only three planes have been delivered so far due to production delays caused in part by gearbox glitches on the plane’s turboprop engines.

However, neither Airbus nor enginemaker MTU Aero Engines AG expect that current issues with the A400M engine will necessitate a major redesign of the engine, the sources said.

Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag this week that a lack of quality at the MTU turboprop engine consortium for the A400M was one of the main reasons for delays in the programme.

The sources said Germany would look at how to close gaps in its air transport needs – even beyond the planned A400M purchases – since the A400M cannot land at small airports.

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