2008-11-17 - European air transport squaEU ministers plan common A400M transport unit

Gemeinsame Lufttransporteinheit geplant<br /> The Minister of Defence of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Federal Minister of Defence of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Minister of Defence of the French Republic, the Minister of Defence of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, declared their intention to establish a multinational A400M unit. In Deauville, we agreed to make effort to develop European airlift capabilities in support of national and multinational needs.

The intention to launch a European Air Transport Fleet (EATF) project was made for this purpose by 12 nations.
This unit will be part of the EATF project and we declare being ready to welcome, in the future, any contribution to this multinational unit from other Member States. Modalities with regard to each Member States' participation (number of aircraft, sharing of cost and resources) as well as other issues like basing, maintenance, training and command will be developed in the coming months and detailed in a Letter of Intent, in which as well the implementation of the European air transport command will be acknowledged.
Also, recognising that EU Member States will be more involved in the near future in military and civilian operations, and that there is a clear lack of European military airlift capabilities to perform these missions, we intend to develop concrete solutions to better use existing and future military airlift assets usable for meeting national, EU, NATO and other frameworks operational requirements.  This is the aim of the European Air Transport Fleet project (EATF) of the EDA. With this declaration of intent we want to demonstrate our determination and commitment to address critical European airlift shortfalls. The pooling of some of our assets and the use of contributions in kind will help us to decrease our dependency on civilian lift and maximize our investment in military airlift assets. The EATF provides an innovative framework for European cooperation through mutualisation of services and aircraft such as A400M or C130. This initiative is open to any interested EU Member State. It will be developed in coherence with existing or future European and national airlift structures, such as the European Air Transport Command in the Command & Control area.

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