France sees A400M finance deal by end of year
A formal financing contract for the A400M European military transport aircraft could be signed by the end of the year, a senior French arms official has said.
"Discussions on a draft amendment have made progress recently," Laurent Collet-Billon told a session of the French National Assembly.
"The goal is to conclude them by November 5, which would allow for the signature of a document by the end of the year."
The remarks were made October 20 at a closed parliamentary session and released Tuesday on the National Assembly website.
The seven NATO countries that are to purchase the Airbus A400M, Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg, reached an agreement on financing 5.2 billion euros (7.2 billion dollars) of cost over-runs. The A400M development program is now three years behind schedule.
But a formal and definitive agreement has yet to be signed.
The first A400M is now scheduled to be delivered to the French air force in 2013, Collet-Billon said.
© 2010 AFP