Thanks to Waylander for the link!
via UK Defence Journal
NATO has taken another important step forward to improve its ability to refuel aircraft in mid-air, with three countries looking to join a European programme to acquire new refuelling aircraft.On the surface this looks like a straightforward plan doesn't it? Trump complained about NATO and now the Europeans are taking solid steps to improve it right? I mean we've seen how shared gear works on an individual Marine level so nothing could go wrong (sarcasm)!
Defence Ministers from Belgium, Germany, and Norway signed a Declaration of Intent to join a European multinational fleet of Airbus tankers, created by the Netherlands and Luxembourg. T
he two countries launched this initiative in July 2016 and a first order was made for two Airbus A330 Multi Role Tanker Transport aircraft, which are due to be delivered in 2020.
The new agreement allows other Allies to join the programme with the provision to enlarge the fleet to up to eight aircraft.
But back on task. Why do I have suspicions about the real motives behind this move? Check this out. via 4 Traders.
Airbus (>> Airbus Group) called on Wednesday for new talks with European governments to ease "heavy penalties" for delays to its A400M military aircraft, after taking a fresh 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) charge for Europe's largest defense project.Sounds like AirBus is in a hurt locker. When you have the Chief Executive of the company saying they can't go on like this then you know things are bad.
Airbus (>> Airbus Group) called on Wednesday for new talks with European governments to ease "heavy penalties" for delays to its A400M military aircraft, after taking a fresh 1.2 billion euro ($1.3 billion) charge for Europe's largest defense project.
The appeal comes seven years after Airbus won what at the time was regarded as a definitive 3.5 billion euro bailout for the delayed project, plagued from the start by political wrangling over the choice of new European engines.
Airbus said recent problems with engine gearboxes and delays in supplying defensive aids had led to severe penalties, bureaucratic arguments and cash being held back by governments.
"We cannot go on like that. This is unacceptable and puts a huge burden on Airbus and we need to do something about it," Chief Executive Tom Enders said.
The A400M was ordered in 2003 by seven NATO nations -- Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain, Britain and Turkey -- to grant Europe an independent military transport capability.
An unusual fixed-price contract worth 20 billion euros reflected efforts by Airbus at the time to win a major military contract to add to its growing jetliner business.
But it foundered over problems with the West's largest turboprop engines, which were to be supplied by a European consortium instead of Airbus's preference for a Canadian supplier, as well as tight deadlines for military hardware.
Speaking after reporting lower 2016 profits, Enders argued Airbus was still paying for the "original sin" of striking an unrealistic deal 14 years ago, despite having reset the program with the 2010 bailout deal.
The pan-European agency representing the buyers was not available for comment.
But Germany, the largest A400M buyer which has been most critical of the project, expressed little immediate appetite to help Airbus cope with the latest issues.
"It is important that the manufacturer resolves the current problems in the program," a defense ministry spokesman said.
Do you remember all the talk about the USAF buying the A400? Those rumors were based on the behind the scenes chaos in AirBus over the trajectory of that program. They desperately needed a US govt order to save their bottom line.
So I ask again. Is this tanker buy from a group of European countries designed to improve NATO or an attempt to hand AirBus a lifeline?