It's finally happening. Europe's A400M airlifter is set to enter production with the first four aircraft set for delivery in 2012.
This comes after years of speculation that the multinational program would be cancelled due to numerous development delays and cost overruns. It looks like perseverance (and a government bailout) paid off for the program which has orders for 174 planes, so far.
From Defense News:
Airbus said the first four aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2012 with production being ramped up to 2.5 machines a month by the end of 2015.This will be an interesting plane to watch. It fills an interesting niche between the C-130J Super Hercules and the C-17.
Civil certification is due this year and Airbus said in a statement it expected to hand over the first A400M to the French Air Force by early 2013.