Contracts for the ill-fated Airbus A400M military aircraft may be signed with customers later this year, according to EADS CEO Louis Gallois.

Gallois said an agreement has to be reached by all seven countries, including France, Germany, Spain, Britain, Belgium, Luxembourg and Turkey, before the contracts are signed, according to AFP.

Tests flights of the A400M aircraft are underway despite technical challenges, according to Gallois.

In March, all the seven countries had agreed with EADS to share €5.2bn (US$6.4bn) in costly over-runs related to the A400M’s development.

The first A400M aircraft is expected to be delivered to France in early 2013.