Malaysia and US eye Airbus military version

24th January 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 January 2005, MADRID-Malaysia and the US may order European Airbus A400M military transport planes, the head of Spanish aerospace group CASA said.

24 January 2005

MADRID-Malaysia and the US may order European Airbus A400M military transport planes, the head of Spanish aerospace group CASA said.

Fernandez Sanz said, in an interview with the Spanish business daily La Gaceta de los Negocios (The Business Gazette), that he hoped orders with Malaysia could be imminent.

"We have just resumed negotiations with Malaysia and we hope in the short term to be able to announce an order," Fernandez Sainz said without giving further details.

Final assembly of the A400M is to take place in Seville, southern Spain under control of CASA, a member of Airbus' main parent company, the European
Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).

The transport plane for troops and light armoured vehicles, Europe's biggest joint weapons programme, is to take flight in 2008, with initial deliveries scheduled for 2009.

"I think it is not crazy to think this plane could be sold in the United States, which does not have as competitive an aircraft," Sainz said.

The A400M is designed to compete with the C-130 Hercules built by US defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

In December, South Africa became the first country to order the A400M other than the seven involved in its development; Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey.

So far, 180 orders have been placed for the plane, development of which is expected to cost EUR 20 billion (USD 26 bn).

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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