France: EADS Must Help Airbus A400M Program More

Thu, 01/28/2010 - 4:30am

PARIS (AP) -- French Defense Minister Herve Morin on Thursday increased the pressure on aerospace firm EADS ahead of crucial last-minute negotiations about the company's demand for more government financial help with its troubled A400M military transport plane.

Speaking on French television channel LCI, Morin said EADS, the parent company of European jet maker Airbus, must make more of an effort to share the cost overruns plaguing the military troop transport jet that seven European governments have ordered.

"We still need to discuss sharing the cost overruns, but EADS needs to make an effort," Morin said. "The governments acknowledge that this is a military program, and all military programs have cost overruns, so they are ready to make an effort, but their effort must be matched by an effort at least as great, if not greater, by EADS."

The aircraft is now four years behind schedule and more than euro5 billion ($7.3 billion) over budget.

Airbus has asked for a decision by the end of January. Defense ministers will meet in Istanbul, Turkey, on Feb. 4 and 5.


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