The Austrian defence ministry has filed a new criminal complaint in the investigation into bribery and corruption linked to the deal. It has said that that the consortium covered up illegal costs regarding the pricing of the jet and that Airbus made false promises to deliver advanced or upgraded versions of the aircraft.
The Eurofighter consortium is owned by Airbus, Europe’s flagship aerospace company, the UK’s BAE Systems and Leonardo-Finmeccanica of Italy. The Austrian government is demanding that Airbus and the consortium pay damages of up to €1.1bn.
This complaint will lead to further scrutiny of Europe’s aerospace and defence companies after Rolls-Royce last month admitted a string of bribery and corruption offences stretching from 1989 to 2013. Airbus is also under investigation by UK authorities after similar allegations in both its defence and civil aerospace business.