Formalising intergovernmental agreements to cover the development of both Europe's next generation military transport and of the beyond visual range air-to-air missile were mired at the show by neither memorandum of understanding being signed by all programme participants.

Belgium, France, Germany, Spain, Turkey and the UK signed the MoU for the Airbus Military Company A400M. Italy's defence minister has only been in place for a few weeks and did not commit to the programme.

While Germany surprised many by committing to 73 A400Ms, Turkey has reduced its take-up to 10 transports. With Portugal confirming a requirement for three A400Ms, AMC has orders for 196 transports, plus there are potentially 16 for Italy.

The MoU also cleared the way for the European joint procurement agency, OCCAR, to manage the programme. A contract is expected by the end of September.

Also signed at the show was an agreement to create the Aero Propulsion Alliance, a six member grouping to produce the A400M's TP400 turboprop engine. MTU, Rolls-Royce and Snecma will each take 24.8%, Spain's ITP 13.6%, FiatAvio 8% and Belgium's Techspace Aero 4%. Further companies could join APA in the future.

Only France, Sweden and the UK signed up for the MBDA-led Meteor, with Germany, Italy and Spain intending to join up once national approvals are in place. Meteor will be a UK-led programme to equip Eurofighter.

Source: Flight International