Malaysia Might Order Airbus A400M: CASA President
By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, MADRID
Malaysia may soon order European Airbus A400M military transport planes, and even U.S. orders are not out of the question, the head of Spanish aerospace group CASA told the daily La Gaceta de los Negocios in an interview published Jan. 24.
“We have just resumed negotiations with Malaysia and we hope in the short term to be able to announce an order,” Fernandez Sainz said, without giving further details.
Final assembly of the A400M is to take place in Seville, southern Spain under control of CASA, a member of Airbus’ main parent company, the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS).
The transport plane for troops and light armored vehicles, Europe’s biggest joint weapons program, is to take flight in 2008, with initial deliveries scheduled for 2009.
“I think it is not crazy to think this plane could be sold in the United States, which does not have as competitive an aircraft,” Sainz said.
The A400M is designed to compete with the C-130 Hercules built by U.S. defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
In December, South Africa became the first country to order the A400M other than the seven involved in its development; Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey.
To date, 180 orders have been placed for the plane, development of which is expected to cost 20 billion euros ($26 billion).
Well, I wonder how people will react on the remark about selling the A400 to the US