Airbus Military, a subsidiary of Airbus and EADS, signed a Declaration of Intent
(DOI) in Pretoria that will lead South Africa to become a partner in the A400M
tactical military aircraft program.
agreement between Airbus Military and the government of South Africa is worth at
least 750 million Euros ($900 million). This decision lengthens the odds of
South Africa becoming the first A400M export customer. The A400M program was
launched in May 2003 by seven European/NATO nations with firm orders on 180
aircraft. First flight is expected in 2008 and an initial operational capability
(IOC) is anticipated by 2009.
According to EADS, a detailed contract about the issue will be signed early next
year in addition to the DOI agreement. South African defense/aerospace industry
will receive high-value work packages throughout the life of the program in
exchange for South Africa's commitment.
The A400M will enable South Africa to upgrade its airlift capability for both
humanitarian and peace-keeping activities and assist the country in
strengthening its aeronautical industry.
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