The A400M partner nations have agreed an arrangement with Airbus that is designed to sort out issues over cost and capability.
Key areas to be ‘rebaselined’ include the introduction of new capabilities, the delivery schedule, refit of the aircraft and financial terms.
The notice published by the MoD reads:
“This establishes an overall agreement regarding the roadmap to achieve the A400M’s full suite of contracted capabilities, aircraft deliveries and retrofit schedule while also keeping the programme on a sound financial footing. The re-baselining agreement has been the subject of intensive negotiations between the partner nations and Airbus for more than a year and provides solid foundations for the A400M in the decades ahead, for existing and future export customers.”
“The overall aim of the Global Rebaselining – both for Airbus as well as for OCCAR and the Launch Customer Nations – was to recover a sustainable contractual basis for and to ensure a proper execution of the A400M programme,” said Dirk Hoke, Chief Executive Officer of Airbus Defence and Space.
“I would like to thank our customers for their engagement and support during the discussions over the last two years. This new situation will also support our efforts to export the A400M worldwide.”
According to Airbus, the Launch Customer Nations have agreed on the following:
1. New capabilities development plan
Based on this new plan, Airbus aims to provide all agreed capabilities over an adjusted timeframe and to give solid visibility to the Launch Customer Nations for a better planning of operations and engagements. First elements of this new planning have already been implemented with deliveries of tactical capabilities which enable the Launch Customer Nations to operate in various mission profiles all around the world.
2. New production delivery schedule
All parties have agreed to stretch the A400M production plan while keeping the programme’s contractual timeframe until 2030. The new production delivery schedule both addresses the Launch Customer Nations’ expectations and significantly reduces the financial exposure. Furthermore, the new delivery schedule enables the A400M programme to adjust the production rate in order to accommodate export orders in the coming years.
3. New retrofit delivery schedule
The new retrofit agreement with the Launch Customer Nations will implement the final contractual standard with associated capabilities to all of the delivered A400M aircraft.
This new agreement will minimise aircraft downtimes to meet customer expectations while optimising the retrofit process for Airbus.
4. New financial terms
Airbus, OCCAR and the Launch Customer Nations have agreed on the implementation of a revised financial retention mechanism. This new scheme recognises the achievement of A400M capabilities which have already been implemented in service while keeping an incentive to finalise the development of the ultimate contractual standard.
Furthermore, a significant compensation in products and services has been agreed in exchange of accrued financial obligations due to past late deliveries. This provides both the customers and industry with an opportunity to jointly enhance the A400M platform, say the firm.