AAD: Denel, Airbus Military renew A400M pact

Johannesburg
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Airbus Military and Denel have signed a revised agreement for the manufacture of A400M airlifter components in South Africa.

Denel builds parts of the pan-European aircraft's airframe, including the wing-to-fuselage fairing and the "top shell".

Denel Aerostructures chief Ismail Dockrat says the company has already ramped up its production of the parts, which will be delivered to Airbus Military in the coming months.

The new agreement was confirmed before the Africa Aerospace & Defence show opened in Pretoria on 19 September. It was reached despite South Africa's cancellation in 2009 of a 2005 contract to equip its air force with eight A400Ms.

There had been much speculation in the past few weeks that a new potential A400M purchase could be in the works, but both Denel and Airbus Military have denied this.

Senior Denel officials say that the new agreement, in combination with restructuring, will enable its aerostructures business to return to profitability in three to four years.