The Portuguese defence ministry says in its proposed procurement budget that there are insufficient funds to buy the three Airbus Military A400M transport aircraft it has committed to. The government will look into alternative options, which could include leasing other transports. It does not, however, rule out finding a "business plan" to circumvent the problem. The proposed budget must first be approved by Portugal's superior defence council and then by parliament. Airbus Military says it has known since the middle of last year that Portugal may have to withdraw, and has based its projected programme costs on 180 aircraft, not including the three Portuguese transports. Meanwhile, the German defence minister reportedly said late last week that the country will cancel its order for a second tranche of 30 Eurocopter Tiger attack helicopters to help slim its budget deficit.

Source: Flight International