Airbus denies price increase
Johannesburg - The A400M military transport aircraft price increase reported in the media on Thursday is incorrect, Airbus Military said.
Business Day reported earlier that government was racing against time to decide on the acquisition of eight Airbus A400 military transport aircraft, with the price rising dramatically from R17bn to about R47bn.
In a statement Airbus Military said it was still in ongoing discussions with South African authorities regarding developments with the A400M programme.
This included providing updated information on the aircraft development and manufacturing programme - the first aircraft was due to fly within the next few weeks, Airbus Military said.
It was also updating South Africa with details of the aircraft delivery schedule and the likely cost impact and possible price adjustments.
"As these discussions are the subject of ongoing contractual negotiations, we cannot divulge specific details."
"Nevertheless, the price tag which has been attributed to Armscor's CEO, Mr Sipho Thomo, is wildly exaggerated," Airbus Military said.
Thomo told the portfolio committee on defence on Wednesday that long delays in the building programme had pushed the asking price for the A400M planes from R17bn to R47bn.
Cabinet would have to make an urgent decision on whether to go ahead with the deal, he said.
Airbus Military said it was committed to keeping the programme within "a realistic and affordable budget", with minimum additional impact on its customers.
In the meantime, Airbus Military had been in touch with the department of defence and it had requested clarity on Thomo's remarks.
Number of inaccuracies
Referring to an article in Thursday's Business Report, Airbus Military said the article contained a number of inaccuracies.
It said Airbus and Airbus Military were separate businesses, both owned by the European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS)
"Airbus is in the civil airliner business... Airbus Military is responsible for the A400M and other military aircraft products."
It said that Airbus, Airbus Military and EADS were not French.
"EADS is a multi-national company traded on the Frankfurt, Madrid and Paris stock exchanges."
"It is registered in the Netherlands," Airbus Military said.
Airbus Military was based in Spain and BAE Systems sold its 20% interest in Airbus several years ago and was no longer involved in Airbus or Airbus Military programmes, it said.