A400M Disputes Resolved, and Engine Certified
In recent weeks, important contractual issues surrounding the A400M airlifter have been resolved. First, Airbus Military signed a formal agreement to amend the development and production contract with the seven European launch nations, represented by the OCCAR procurement agency. This confirmed the €2 billion price increase; the cut in production of 10 aircraft to a total of 170; and the export levy plan under which the nations will provide an additional €1.5 billion repayable against future export sales. But Airbus has conceded a slower payment schedule than the company envisioned a year ago, although the strong cash position at EADS should mitigate the effect. In the 2010 accounts, the total loss provision on the A400M was stated to be more than €2.3 billion, and company officials have said that the program will break even only with export sales.
Then Airbus Military and Europrop International (EPI) agreed to amend the contract for supply of the aircraft’s TP400 engines, and conclude their legal dispute. Neither company would specify the revised terms. Airbus Military had claimed €500 million from the engine maker for breaches of contract, and EPI had counter-claimed for €425 million.
EPI subsequently announced that the TP400 had received EASA certification. This is the first military engine to be certified by the EASA to civilian standards from the outset, according to EPI. The 11,000-shp TP400-D6 has now logged more than 12,000 running hours, two-thirds of them on the four development A400Ms that are now flying. EPI further noted that it has completed all major development testing on the engine.