MBDA is confident the six-nation Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile project will go ahead, although there is some concern about the timescale.

The UK has invested $1.5 billion in the project, while Germany, the second largest investor, is responsible for 21% of development costs.

The German parliament's budget committee will debate procurement programmes later this month. The Meteor programme should have been on the final list for approval, but the defence ministry reportedly missed a 5 June deadline for submitting the final spending template and industry contract to the finance ministry for review.

"I am confident that Germany will keep its promises to Meteor," says Fabrice Brégier, MBDA chief executive. "I can't imagine Germany wouldn't meet this commitment: the development is only €200 million [$186 million], so nowhere in the range of the [Airbus] A400M military transport budget."

Brégier adds: "Eurofighter needs this weapon, but I am concerned because the timescale is very tight."

Source: Flight International