The grand duchy will share the Airbus A400M Atlas, which is designed to be “a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities”, with the Belgian military. It will contribute one-eighth of the operational costs, which will mean an annual bill of between €11 and €12 million, bringing expenditure to around €420 million for the 35-year lifespan of the plane.
Parliament had already voted in favour of the €168 million cost of the plane back in 2005 after the two countries’ governments had agreed to purchase the A400M. An additional €28 million VAT bill will also have to be paid by Luxembourg.
The government parties were joined on Tuesday by the CSV, who had initiated the project, in voting in favour of the financing. The ADR’s MPs abstained from the vote, while the two Déi Lénk MPs voted against the bill. Marc Baum of Déi Lénk said the timing of the vote was an excuse for the government to go brag about their commitment to their allies at Thursday’s Nato summit in Brussels.
The plane is expected to be delivered in spring 2020.