Germany is not considering cancelling the troubled Airbus Group A400M programme but is looking at acquiring other transport planes since the A400M cannot land at small airports, German government sources said on Tuesday.
The government expects to deal with a temporary bottleneck in 2018 and 2019, caused by A400M production delays, through leasing and other bilateral solutions with France, Britain and the United States, the sources said.
The government is also exploring leasing capacity from other countries, or perhaps joint purchase and operating agreements with allies, to augment its expected fleet of 53 A400M planes, the sources said.
Outright procurement of other planes by the German military would also be possible if other plans did not work out, they said.
The sources gave no details about which aircraft would be sought, but German parliamentary and military sources said in March that the German air force was looking at potentially acquiring up to 10 C-130J aircraft built by Lockheed Martin Corp.
The A400M is twice the size of the C130J and half the size of the C17 (roughly). The A400M is a different aeroplane.
Ukrainian AN-70, the only comparably sized alternative to the A400M.