Seven European defence ministers are expected to give the A400M a major boost today at Farnborough 2000 by announcing firm numbers for their intended orders for the European airlifter. British Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon and his French, German, Italian, Spanish, Turkish and Belgian counter-parts, are understood to have made commitments to at least 218 aircraft valued at more than $17 billion, well above the 155 minimum programme viability threshold but short of the original 288 touted in the early 1990s. A UK Ministry of Defence spokesman says the minister's joint declaration will be a "significant step" in the launching of the A400M, which is to be built by the Airbus Military Company (AMC).

Source: Flight Daily News