Airbus A400M military transport aircraft will make its first test flight some time around 7 December, after a long delay due to a series of technical problems.

Designed to replace aging military cargo carriers, the A400M aircraft, ordered by many European air forces, was due to enter service in 2009.

Airbus has deferred the date for the aircraft to join service to 2013.

The company signed a contract in 2003 to deliver 180 A400M military transport aircraft to seven partner nations including the UK, France and Germany.