Malaysia’s order for four Airbus A400M military planes is set to face a delivery delay by at least three years, to 2016.

The Airbus A400M programme was started by European Nato nations for the development of new generation military airlifter with Malaysia and south Africa as non-European members.

The programme has been facing cost overruns and delivery delays over its massive turboprop engines and is running late by at least three years.

The delay in delivery of the Malaysian aircraft is an Airbus delivery issue and not related to the force, according to AFP.

A senior defence ministry official was quoted by AFP as saying that there is no cancellation, the deal is still on, but delivery will be delayed by three or four years.

Approximately 180 aircraft have been ordered by seven Nato nations including Germany, France, Spain, Britain, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg.

South Africa recently pulled out of the programme stating that cost over-runs would be a major burden for the country’s taxpayers.