Stewart Penney/LONDON


Airbus Military Company (AMC) will supply its A400M four-engined tactical airlifter for $80 million each, if the participating nations buy all 288 covered by a seven-country request for proposals issued in 1997.

Meanwhile, France, one of four nations evaluating competitive bids, is expected to declare the A400M winner of its transport contest at the Paris air show.

Belgium, France, Spain, and the UK issued a competitive request for proposals last year, which drew responses from Boeing with the C-17, Lockheed Martin with the C-130J and Airbus. The Antonov An-70 is being considered by Germany against the A400M.

National requirements include 75 aircraft for Germany, 50 for France, 45 for the UK, 44 for Italy, 36 for Spain, 26 for Turkey and 12 for Belgium. British Aerospace Airbus military advisor Brian Poulton says AMC's bid prices the A400M at $80 million, including amortisation of about $6 billion in non-recurring development costs.

Poulton claims the A400M provides twice the volume and twice the payload of the C-130J for similar life cycle costs, or two-thirds the volume and half the payload at two-fifths of the price and one-third of the life-cycle costs of the C-17. AMC's bid is based on managing the project in a similar manner to Airbus commercial programmes.

BAe Airbus director future programmes Iain Gray says the funding of development costs is subject to negotiation.

Source: Flight International