Financing of Airbus A400M appears resolved

BERLIN — The nations that have ordered the Airbus A400M military transporter and the manufacturer have agreed in principle on how to pay for cost overruns in the troubled project, a German Defense Ministry spokesman said today.

The agreement was worked out by deputy defense ministers and industry representatives in a meeting in the German capital, the spokesman said on condition of anonymity, in accordance to Defense Ministry guidelines.

He refused to give further details, the German news agency DAPD reported.

The French Defense Ministry, which has been closely involved in the negotiations, had no immediate comment.

Officials from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey were at the meeting to consider manufacturer EADS' answer to their offer on how to deal with cost overruns on what is one of Europe's most important military projects.

The 20 billion ($27 billion) project is over budget by about 5.2 billion and almost four years behind schedule.