GÖTTINGEN, Germany — European aircraft manufacturer Airbus will have to pay a substantial compensation to the German Ministry of Defense due to the late delivery of its A400M transport aircraft and a capability construction level of the plane that falls short of the is not compliant with contracted agreement.
According to sources familiar with the subject, both parties agreed that the German MoD will receive a sum of EUR€13 million (US$13.9 million) from Airbus for missing the delivery schedule.
Currently, the German Air Force is operating only one A400M. By the end of December, one to two more of the aircraft planes of this type could enter service — provided that the ongoing certification process is successfully completed.
The compensation agreements relate only to those two planes, a spokesman for the Department of Defense said. He declined to comment on details, as the information is confidential. Initially, the Air Force should have received a total number of five new Airbus airplanes in 2015, which would have added to the one in service.
According to the sources, as a further component of the agreement, Airbus also has to retrofit, at no charge, the two A400Ms at no charge to the agreed level of capability construction, since the planes are not delivered according to specifications and have only an "initial operating clearance" (IOC) standard. Thus, the aircraft neither can neither drop loads from the air nor operate on unpaved runways.
As long as the two planes are not modified to the agreed standard, the German Air Force will retain 17 percent of the purchase price, which sources say would mean a blocked payment of €42 million for the two aircraft. In addition, the Ministry of Defense is to receive an indemnity of €2.2 million as a credit note for each plane that is delivered and not compliant. to specifications.
Due to the delays, the German Air Force must keep its aging Transall transporters longer in service. However, the planes fail frequently and are considered unreliable. Besides Germany, the armed forces of other countries such as France, Britain and Turkey are procuring the A400M.
But the delayed rollout affects Germany is more than it does some other affected unlike other European countries because Germany is more affected by the delayed A400M rollout, because it relies only on the two aircraft types, Transall and A400M. France, the other user nation of the Transall, also operates the C-130 Hercules and is in discussions with the US to purchase additional aircraft. for just recently decided to procure new aircraft of this type in the US.
Britain uses In addition to the C-130, Britain uses the Boeing C-17 and has already several A400M in inventory. Finally, Germany wants to operate 40 Airbus A400Ms. Since 53 aircraft were ordered initially, 13 are to be sold abroad.
According to the German Department of Defense, Airbus has not yet submitted a binding delivery schedule for more aircraft next year. Due to the lack of scheduling, an agreement for future indemnities has not been discussed yet, a spokesman said.
The ministry spokesman also confirmed that in the upcoming negotiations, difficulties with the mission planning system probably will be a topic. The ministry spokesman confirmed that The system does not meet the operational requirements of the Air Force, the spokesman said.
A German press report describes the software for the mission planning module as extremely complex, which could mean that the planning of a flight takes up to 50 hours.
An Airbus spokesman said that his company understands the needs of the German Air Force and together with the customer has launched studies to provide additional capabilities.functionalities. He also said the A400M has completed more than 1,200 flights and nearly 5,000 flight hours in service with five air forces, and that the exact time required for mission preparation depends considerably on individual operator procedures.