EADS signs €20-billion contract for A400M military aircraft

First revenues are expected to be generated as soon as this year and to ramp up very quickly, with a total amount of about €2 billion already generated between 2003 and 2005. This will contribute to the EADS overall target to grow defence revenues from €6 billion in 2002 to nearly €10 billion by 2005. With the A400M, the company''s defence order book will double to around €40 billion, placing EADS among the top three defence companies in the world.

For the EADS CEOs Philippe Camus and Rainer Hertrich "the launch of the A400M programme is a major milestone in EADS'' strategy to grow the defence business and further balance civil and military activities."

"We will immediately start the A400M industrial programme. For all A400M project teams, on-time delivery and full technical compliance are now first priorities," say Camus and Hertrich. "We know that the armed forces in Europe have an urgent need for the most modern and capable military transport aircraft available, and EADS is ready to meet their need."

"The A400M is a breakthrough for the military aircraft industry. We are convinced that the A400M will set new standards in military transport and forces interoperability," says Francisco Fernandez Sainz, president of Airbus Military and head of the EADS military transport aircraft division. "We are proud to harness our expertise in Airbus commercial aircraft to create a high-quality, efficient and technologically advanced military transport aircraft. This will provide the best value for money to all our customers."

In addition to this initial domestic order, EADS is convinced that the A400M has an outstanding export potential of more than 200 aircraft in the next two decades. "The A400M is well positioned to replace a major part of the current world-wide fleet of tactical transport aircraft," Camus and Hertrich say. "There is simply no other new generation aircraft with 21st century technologies on the market."

The CEOs stress that the A400M programme will create and secure a total of 40,000 jobs at manufacturers and their suppliers over a period of 20 years. "The financial strength of EADS and our experience in the management of large-scale, multinational projects have been important prerequisites for the decision in favour of the A400M."