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EADS warns of Airbus military plane delays

European leaders were urged on Tuesday to intervene to resolve chronic delays in Europe's largest military project, the A400M heavy airlifter, to safeguard defence ambitions and secure 30,000 high-tech jobs.


AFP - Lawmakers warned on Tuesday that French defence giant EADS risked losing out to US manufacturers from expected delays to its A400 military plane, after similar setbacks hit its Airbus A380 super-jumbo.

"If we are not capable of bringing this programme to term, we will be giving a present to the American aeronautics industry," Josselin de Rohan, president of a Senate defence committee, told reporters.

Having last year announced that some A380 deliveries scheduled for 2009 may not arrive until 2010, EADS now faces the annoyance of customers in Britain, Germany and elsewhere for delays to the A400 military transport plane.

They were expecting it to arrive from the end of 2009 but the first deliveries have now been pushed back to 2012 at the earliest.

Airbus is the main subsidiary of EADS, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company.

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