The Government seeks in Jordan the solution to the problem of the ten A400M aircraft that it has left over

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A400M plane of the Spanish Air Force (Sergio Ruiz/Ejército del Aire)

Even if Jordan bought only a single A400M The transaction would be a great relief for the Ministry of Defense, which needs, before 2025, to find a destination for ten of these aircraft that it promised to acquire with the Airbus company, but which announced some time ago that will not join the fleet of the Air and Space Army and will instead resell them to other countries. However, the Government of Spain has so far not been successful in its efforts to place these giant transport aircraft on the international market and, as its manufacturer itself knows, selling a dozen units of this plane is not simple task.

With this objective, aware that the clock is already ticking, the Secretary of State for Defense, María Amparo Valcarce, traveled this week to Jordan, where she held a meeting with the chief of the General Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, to reinforce bilateral security and defense relations but, above all, explore business opportunities for the Spanish defense industry, with special emphasis on the A400M.

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During his visit, Valcarce highlighted that the Spanish defense industry is fully capable of meeting Jordan's needs in industrial programs in which your country might be interested, such as, in addition to the transport plane, new border protection systems. Likewise, the Secretary of State has conveyed to the Jordanian authorities the interest of the Government of Spain in continuing and increasing the excellent relations in terms of security and defense that exist between both countries.

A400M airplane of the Spanish Air Force (Airbus DS/Ejército del Aire)
A400M airplane of the Spanish Air Force (Airbus DS/Ejército del Aire)

Jordan has already shown interest in the aircraft, but the operational requirements of this Middle Eastern country are far from the needs of Spain, which clearly needs to negotiate with other states to be able to get rid of the planes it does not plan to use. Faced with this scenario, the Government's dilemma lies in the fact that completing the sale of its aircraft means, at the same time, remove new customers from Airbuswith the consequent detriment for the Spanish aerospace industry, given that all A400M They are assembled in the company's plant in Seville.

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More than 20 years ago, the government of José María Aznar agreed with Airbus to acquire 27 units of the aircraft. As Spain is one of the countries that makes up the consortium of the European aerospace giant, it was also one of those that committed the most money to the project: more than 3,450 million euros, a budget that over the years increased to almost 5.5 billion. However, in 2013, again with the Popular Party in Moncloa, the Ministry of Defense announced that it would only use 14 of the contracted planes and would try to resell the remaining 13 to third countries.

A400M plane of the Spanish Air Force (Airbus)
A400M plane of the Spanish Air Force (Airbus)

At the end of this April, the Air Force received the fourteenth A400M, the last one that until then planned to operate, without any negotiations between Spain and another country having been announced to find a destination for the surplus aircraft. Even, weeks before, the information had emerged that Margarita Robles' portfolio was considering canceling the order for the remaining planes.

However, in a surprising move, Defense announced in May that it would incorporate three A400M further of those stipulated, up to a total of 17 aircraft, although the operation has yet to materialize in a new agreement with the manufacturer. In any case, the fact of increasing the number of planes to be used has done nothing other than reinforce the idea that Spain, faced with the difficulties of finding a new destination for them, will reject the A400M missing from your original order.

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