The chief executive of Airbus Defence & Space warned on Sunday that sluggish German government export clearances are delaying defence shipments worth many billions of euros, and he urged Berlin to speed up the procedure.
"The (military transport plane) A400M is attracting interest from a number of nations. In an interview with Reuters at the Munich Security Conference, he stated, "Unfortunately, we are having challenges getting the German export licences on time.
Our issue is that the Zeitenwende hasn't given us any contracts yet, and significant exports aren't getting the go-ahead. We now find ourselves in a very uncomfortable position," Schoellhorn remarked.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz proclaimed a "Zeitenwende" or sea change in security strategy days before Russia invaded Ukraine, and he was making reference to a 100 billion euro ($107 billion) special fund established last year to bring the military back up to par.
"We can no longer tolerate the ongoing delays" (in export procedures). Preparing for security is crucial, according to Schoellhorn.
He claimed that the government in Berlin was holding orders for a number of products, not just the A400M, but he declined to provide further details, only providing a ballpark figure for the amount of money involved.
We are talking about several billion euros overall, he added.
After Thursday's 500 million euro charge was disclosed in Airbus results, Schoellhorn stated that he anticipated no other large costs related to industrial concerns for the loss-making A400M in the future if events remained as they have in previous years.
He continued by saying that any partial payments that clients withheld should finally be given to the business.
When asked if, in light of Airbus Defence & Space's loss of two satellites on a Vega C rocket, Europe will have to rely on Elon Musk's SpaceX enterprise going forward, Schoellhorn responded that any such solution would only be a temporary one.
We will have to temporarily employ other launchers, and whether they come from SpaceX or somewhere else would depend on the mission, he said. Yet, we don't want to engage in this for the long term.