Johannesburg - Airbus Military has refunded
pre-delivery payments for the eight A400M military transport aircraft
worth R9.1bn (€837m) to parastatal Armscor, it said on Monday.
In a statement, it confirmed that it had, at the same time, opened the door to further close co-operation with SA.
"The agreement we signed with Armscor on November 29 2011,
draws a line under the cancelled A400M acquisition, but crucially, it
lets us all move forward together to explore further opportunities,
including upcoming acquisition projects led by Armscor," Airbus Military
CEO, Domingo Urena said.
SA was given full industrial partner status in the A400M
programme in 2005. In return, the country committed to acquire eight
A400M aircraft in a firm- and fixed-price contract.
During the 2009 recession, SA cancelled the order with Airbus,
claiming that the cost of the planes had escalated. However, this was
denied by Airbus. The aircraft manufacturer has always stressed that the
€837m figure remained accurate.
Despite SA cancelling its order, local companies, Denel
Aerostructures and Aerosud, remained responsible for the design
engineering, manufacturing and supply of several major parts, including
aircraft top shells (roof); wing-fuselage fairing (the largest single
aircraft component ever manufactured in SA); aerodynamically complex
wing-tips (which directly influence fuel efficiency and carbon
emissions); as well as cabin and cockpit insulation & linings and
In addition, Cape Town-based Cobham SA, was the supplier of
the satellite communications antennae and related systems, Airbus said.
Airbus had also launched and committed to R4bn worth of
industrial and research activities with South African partners through