Volga-Dnepr Group / Press-center / Media Coverage

Germany extends SALIS contract - while waiting for the A400M 

12/22/2008

The budget committee of the German Bundestag agreed the extension of the SALIS - Strategic Airlift Interim Solution - contract by two years in its yesterday’s meeting. According to this new agreement the airlift capability is prolonged to 31 December 2010.

The NATO Air Transport Project based on Russian-build wide-bodied giant aircraft of the Antonov An-124 type was launched in January 2006 and was intended as an interim solution while waiting until the new Military Airbus A400M is introduced. In accordance with the contract signed between NAMSA (NATO Maintenance and Support Agency) representing NATO and Ruslan SALIS GmbH, ANTONOV ASTC (Ukraine) and Volga-Dnepr (Russia), two AN-124-100 aircraft are constantly based in Leipzig/ Germany airport. Another 4 machines are being given on demand. The initial contract was intended to end January 2009, however delays in the A400M programme has made the extension of the SALIS programme necessary.

Under German lead-management 18 NATO and EU countries take part in this programme. The aircraft are reserved for these nations participating in the project, who can use them for military as well as humanitarian transport. SALIS thus closed the capability gap of NATO and European Union nations for airlift of heavy military equipment and soldiers.

The Antonov An-124-100 is the largest serial transport aircraft in the world with a maximum payload of 150 tonnes. The extention of this project costs Germany ? 40.7 million. Complementary to this initiative was the Strategic Airlift Capability (NSAC), under which initially fifteen NATO countries plus one Partner country have launched contract negotiations for the purchase of Boeing C-17 transport aircraft. Launched in September 2006, the consortium has evolved to its current configuration of twelve participants, but still remains open for other NATO and PfP nations to join in the future.

It is possible that further delays on the A400M programme will push even more nations to join this initiative. Experts of the German Bundeswehr are expecting the delivery of the first out of 60 aircraft in 2012 - two years late.

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