France and Germany have publicly committed to the Airbus Military Company's A400M as part of a France-German summit in Linz, Germany. The pair also agreed to procure a network of military satellites.

In a statement, France committed itself for up to 50 aircraft and Germany 75, although industry sources remain sceptical that Berlin will acquire such numbers, with 40 to 50 thought more likely. Germany is the last of seven nations to commit to the airlifter. France privately signed in March.

The sources say workshare considerations will be based on firm orders and "options" will not be a factor. One source adds that as the A400Mwill be procured under a commercial contract, any country attempting to shrink firm orders once a deal is signed will face heavy penalties.

Germany had considered aversion of the Ukrainian/Russian Antonov An-70 which would have been Westernised as the An-7X with German industry help.

The satellites will be for all-weather reconnaissance with Germany providing the radar-based sensors and France delivering the electro-optical payload.

Source: Flight International