THE GERMAN parliamentary budget committee has once more blocked the payment of DM375 million ($271 million) of Government money to Daimler-Benz Aerospace to cover the cost of delays which Bonn introduced in the Eurofighter programme.

The 1992 decision effectively delayed the programme by two years and reduced the specification of aircraft due to be delivered to the German air force.

A decision clearing the payment, along with the long-overdue approval for the re- orientation, known as the fourth Eurofighter memorandum of understanding (MoU), was taken off the committee's agenda on 31 May following pressure from Free Democrat and Social Democratic parliamentarians. The MoU has already been signed by programme partners Italy, Spain and the UK.

The committee says that it requires further clarification from the defence ministry of the amount demanded, and questions the legality of the demand. Amid press statements that the trimmed-down Eurofighter 2000 is now more expensive than the original pre-1992-specification aircraft, Social Democrat Karl Diller calls the intended payment "an audacious and unprecedented breach of budget law".

Source: Flight International