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France confident about A400M plan

India eyes 10 C-17 military transport planes: Boeing
New York (AFP) Jan 8, 2010 - The Boeing Company said Friday that India has contacted the US government about a potential purchase of 10 C-17 military transport aircraft. "The US government has received a letter of request from India's Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Indian Air Force regarding the potential acquisition of 10 C-17 Globemaster III advanced airlifters," the company said in a statement. "Boeing is very pleased that the Indian government has expressed interest in acquiring the C-17 to modernize its airlift capabilities, and we look forward to working closely with them," said Vivek Lall, vice president and India country head of Boeing Defense, Space & Security. Lall said that the C-17 "can fulfill India's needs for military and humanitarian airlift to help it meet its growing domestic and international responsibilities." The C-17 Globemaster III advanced airlifter can carry large combat equipment and troops or humanitarian aid across international distances to small airfields anywhere in the world, according to the Chicago-headquartered company. "The Indian Air Force wants to replace and augment its fleet of Russian-made AN-32 and IL-76 airlifters," it said. On Wednesday, Boeing announced it had won a contract from the United Arab Emirates for six C-17 military aircraft, making the UAE the second Middle East nation to order the airlifter, after Qatar. The financial details of the UAE order were not disclosed. Boeing does not publish the cost of a C-17, which can vary according to specifications. According to the US Air Force website, however, each unit costs 202.3 million dollars. There are currently 212 C-17s in service around the world, including 193 owned by the US Air Force, Boeing said. The C-17 planes have 19 international customers, including the British, Canadian and Australian air forces.
by Staff Writers
Paris (UPI) Jan 8, 2009
France is expressing confidence about airplane manufacturer Airbus's troubled A400M military transport project but Defense Minister Herve Morin urged client countries to shoulder the project's unforeseen extra costs.

"We want this program to be complete," Morin said in a televised interview in France this week. "We have put all possible technological efforts into this plane."

His remarks followed a report Tuesday by the Financial Times that Airbus, a unit of European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company intended to drop the program because of doubts that the seven governments that have placed orders for the tactical and cargo A400M planes would come up with another $7.6 billion in payments.

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Thomas Enders was quoted as saying that he no longer believed in pursuing the program and was prepared to shelve the project. Contracts has been signed for 180 planes at a fixed price of $28.7 billion.

The A400M is Europe's biggest military project but years behind schedule and is costing the company nearly $150 million a month.

After repeated delays, Airbus had the plane's maiden flight last month in Spain, where the aircraft is being manufactured.

Germany, the biggest customer of the A400M, has ordered 60 units but Chancellor Angela Merkel resists revisions of the deal, refusing to plow more money into the long-delayed project.

"For us, the contract stands as the basis," for further talks, said German Deputy Defense Minister Christian Schmidt. "EADS has put its demands on the table and that will have to be a matter for discussion."

Defense ministers from the European countries which have placed order for the plane are to meet next week in London to resolve how the project will be funded.

Rather than canceling the project and injecting additional funds, some officials have proposed cutting the number of planes to be delivered.

Turkey, among the countries vying for the plane, has expressed its commitment to the project but has sided by Germany in refusing to pour more money into the program.

"We do not wish to see the A400M project canceled and we do not think it is right to decrease the number of planes to be purchased," Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said in an interview with the Anatolia news agency.

The project was first agreed to in 2003 by Germany, Spain, France, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg.

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France wants to save Airbus military transport project
Paris (AFP) Jan 6, 2010
France on Wednesday insisted that the building of high-tech Airbus A400M military transporters must go ahead but Germany looked unwilling to plough more money into the much-delayed project. French Defence Minister Herve Morin said the programme must be completed, responding to a report that the Airbus head wants to pull out, and insisted that client countries share the unforeseen extra cost ... read more

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