Salem Radio Network News Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Spain may cancel remaining Airbus A400M orders -sources

By Belén Carreño, Inti Landauro and Tim Hepher

MADRID/PARIS (Reuters) – Doubts are growing over the future of Madrid’s remaining orders for the Airbus A400M troop plane, European defence sources said on Monday, as corporate leaders and dignitaries marked the centenary of Spain’s military planemaking activities.

Spain ordered 27 of the European airlifters and is responsible for assembling the aircraft on behalf of all buyers.    But after several months of uncertainty, European defence sources said Madrid was leaning towards cancelling the remaining 13 or so aircraft in Spain’s quota that have not been delivered, after its air force indicated it did not need the extra planes.

The Spanish government and Airbus declined comment.

Designed to boost the strategic autonomy of seven European NATO nations that previously relied on U.S. airlift, the A400M project has been hit by a series of cost overruns and delays.

Fresh doubts over what was once Europe’s largest defence project emerged as Airbus Chief Executive Guillaume Faury attended centenary celebrations of Construcciones Aeronauticas (CASA), one of the European companies which gave birth to Airbus, in Getafe, outside Madrid.

    Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, Defence Minister Margarita Robles and King Felipe also attended Monday’s event.

    Faury and Sanchez were due to meet after the ceremony, according to the prime minister’s official agenda.

Neither side agreed to comment on the agenda.

Spain and Airbus are in discussions over how to soften any impact from a partial A400M order cancellation, sources said.

Defence publication Janes reported last year that Airbus was waiting for Madrid to back the SIRTAP tactical drone project, co-developed by Airbus Spain and Colombia.

Spain also last year ordered an extra 20 Eurofighter combat jets, a four-nation fighter programmre for which Airbus is the industrial partner in Spain and Germany.

(Reporting by Belen Carreno, Tim Hepher, Inti Landauro; Editing by John Stonestreet and Alison Williams)


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