While the flight tests are progressing well and the financing is in place, the latest hurdle is the maintenance contract with the French AF.
The matter is taken care of by the DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement- French General Directorate of Armament) which does not agree with the terms so far.
The DGA contends, as per usual contract, that Airbus should remain responsible of the maintenance until the A400M is regarded as a de-bugged ac (the engine is the main area of concern). The DGA adds that it will not accept the ac unless a satisfactory agreement is found.
The intention is to have a maintenance contract for the French AF up to 2014 when the British A400M enter service. A joint contract will then replace the initial one.
Lots of agitation in the ministries in perspective.
[Edited 2011-10-27 03:52:44]