PARIS (AP) -- France's defense minister predicts that Airbus could potentially export about 300 of its A400M military transport planes.
Herve Morin has hailed a deal between seven customer nations and European defense contractor EADS, Airbus' parent company, that salvaged the program that had nearly collapsed over cost overruns.
Morin also told reporters Monday that a new contract is likely to be signed by June, following Friday's announcement that the two sides had worked out new financing.
The program launched in 2003 is more than euro5 billion ($6.79 billion) over budget and four years behind schedule. Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Turkey have ordered a total of 180 planes.
Morin did not specify which other countries might buy the plane.