Germany to seek penalties as Airbus A400M deliveries lag

Tue Dec 13, 2016 12:54pm EST
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By Andrea Shalal

BERLIN (Reuters) - A sixth new Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) A400M military transporter plane is due to land in Germany on Wednesday, with another likely to follow before the year's end, but Airbus faces penalties for the late deliveries, the German defence ministry said on Tuesday.

The European multinational A400M programme is years behind schedule, with Germany's share of the costs having risen to 9.6 billion euros ($10.2 billion) from an initial estimate of 8.1 billion euros, according to a ministry report to parliament.

Each plane is now estimated to cost 181 million euros, up from an initial 153 million, the report said.

In August the ministry asked Airbus for 12.7 million euros in damages for delays in delivering another A400M aircraft it received in July, and a ministry spokesman said it would seek damages for delays in subsequent deliveries as well.

According to the original delivery plan, Germany should have received 11 A400Ms in 2016, and should have a total of 17 planes altogether. Instead, it will have seven at year's end.

In addition, the ministry plans to withhold an unspecified amount due in payment to Airbus given certain "shortfalls" in the radar and defensive capabilities of the first tactical A400 airlifter, a defence ministry spokesman said on Tuesday, without providing details.

Those funds would be paid to Airbus once the capabilities on the aircraft reached required levels, he said.

The first tactical aircraft, which Germany formally accepted in Seville, Spain on Monday, is due to arrive at an air base in northern Germany late on Wednesday, with a seventh A400M likely to arrive on Friday, a spokesman for the German air force said.   Continued...

An Airbus A400M military transport plane is parked at the Airbus assembly plant during an event in the Andalusian capital of Seville, southern Spain, December 1, 2016. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo