The South African (SA) ministry of defence has decided to terminate a contract with Airbus for A400 strategic airlift aircraft.

In 2005, South Africa signed a contract with Airbus to acquire eight A400s and South Africa also became a partner in the A400 programme.

The decision to cancel is a result of the extensive increase in cost of the programme and Airbus’s failure to deliver the aircraft on schedule, according to a South African Government statement.

Armscor, which is responsible for the acquisition, maintenance and disposal needs of SA Defence will be asked by the defence ministry to terminate the programme.

Also, $379m (R2.9bn) will be refunded to the country’s national treasury as per the contract provisions.