January 28, 2009 / 12:42 PM / 11 years ago

Britain not excluding any options on A400M

ABOARD HMS DARING (Reuters) - The defence procurement minister criticised Airbus parent EADS EAD.PA over delays to its A400M military transport plane on Wednesday and refused to rule out cutting back Britain’s order.

“I am shocked and disappointing at news that EADS and Airbus Military are not going to be able to provide these aircraft on time and in the conditions provided for ... and we are thinking very carefully what do about it,” Defence Equipment and Support Minister Quentin Davies told Reuters.

Asked whether Britain could cancel any of its 25 orders for A400M aircraft in response to the delays, he said, “It is a very unfortunate situation and we can’t exclude any possibility; we need the strategic capability.”

EADS this month said the plane built for 7 European NATO countries, already 2 years late, could fall 3-4 years behind schedule and called for renegotiation of the 20 billion project.

Davies was speaking to Reuters on board Britain’s newest warship, 1 billion pound stealth destroyer HMS Daring, as it prepared to enter its home base of Portsmouth for the first time on Wednesday.

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