German defence minister Rudolf Scharping has hinted that Germany will join Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the UK in opting to buy the Airbus Military Company A400M transport.

In an interview with Focus magazine, Scharping said it is important to give "absolute priority to a European solution", and praised the UK's recent decision to select the Airbus product. The country is also evaluating a Westernised version of the Antonov An-70 being offered by the Airtruck consortium, and a formal decision is expected before the parliamentary recess in early July. Scharping's comments prompted Airtruck to seek assurances from the defence ministry that it should still spend money participating in the competition, say industry sources.

Source: Flight International