Skip to main content

Military Aircraft

Volume 487: debated on Thursday 5 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what his latest estimate is of the in-service date for the A400M airlift aircraft. (252864)

Airbus Military has announced a series of delays in the development and production of the A400M programme, and has recently indicated that first deliveries to customer nations will be three years after the achievement of first flight of the A400M prototype. Airbus has indicated that first flight will occur no earlier than the second half of 2009, and has also announced a slowdown in its production plans. Early A400M production aircraft will be delivered to some of our partner nations and therefore the first UK delivery would occur at least six months after Airbus delivers the first A400M. This suggests that initial UK deliveries could not start before 2013 and therefore the estimated in-service date of the A400M (defined as acceptance into service of the seventh aircraft) would be 2014.