PARIS (AP) -- Defense group EADS on Monday said it may freeze its drone project if European governments don't commit funds, even as it faces a funding standoff with the same nations over its delayed military plane project.
In an interview with Financial Times Deutschland, Stefan Zoller, head of EADS' defense and security division, said that if Germany, France and Spain don't place firm orders by the summer, the Talarion unmanned air vehicle project could be put on hold.
Spokeswoman Annette Fuellenbach said Zoller was not threatening an ultimatum and EADS remains "fully committed to the Talarion project."
However, she noted that "if we do not get a customer commitment for financing we nevertheless have to freeze the project after the preliminary design review due to the fact that we need customer requirements to go further."
EADS has "invested and pre-financed heavily in this project," spending euro100 million ($144 million), she said. The total cost is estimated at euro1.5 billion.
EADS unveiled its Talarion unmanned air vehicle at the Paris air show last June. The name derives from the winged sandals of Hermes in the Greek mythology.
Airbus and its parent company EADS are already in a funding standoff with European governments over their A400M military plane. Airbus CEO Tom Enders has threatened to cancel the project without new financial terms.
Germany, France and Spain are together with Britain the biggest customers of the seven nations with A400Ms on order. Officials say Airbus is now almost four years behind schedule and more than euro5 billion over budget.