European ministers were expected to sign three memoranda of understanding (MoU) at the show on the development of Europe's next generation beyond visual range air-to-air missile (BVRAAM), tactical transport and a joint technology acquisition programme.

Industry and government sources were hopeful that MoUs for the Airbus Military Company A400M, MBDA Meteor BVRAAM and the European Technology Acquisition Plan (ETAP) would be signed on 19 June. The A400M MoU is the precursor to a contract, which should be signed in October or November, by Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Spain, Turkey and the UK.

Industry sources say the signing of the deal will contain the final national aircraft numbers. Germany's commitment for 73 A400Ms is widely viewed as significantly higher than Berlin either needs or is able to fund.

Meteor will be signed up to by France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden and the UK. MoU talks were completed last month, each nation pushing the programme through the national approval process to ensure a Paris signing.

As well as MBDA, other Meteor risk-sharing partners are Germany's LFK,Sweden's Saab Bofors Dynamics and a joint venture between EADS Casa, Indra and Izar, known as Empresa de Missiles Espanola.

The MoU has fixed the workshare, with the UK given 34.9%, Germany 21%, France 12.4%, Italy 12%, and Spain and Sweden having 10% each. The UK Defence Procurement Agency will be contracting authority for all six.

ETAP is to be signed by the Meteor nations and covers areas such as advanced avionics, low observability, control systems and unmanned air vehicles.

Source: Flight International