EADS’s troubled Airbus A400M military transport project has suffered another blow.The South African government has dropped plans to buy eight of the planes. The order was worth 3.5 billion euros. The cancellation comes just weeks before the first test flight was due to take place. The A400M is designed to carry troops and heavy equipment into combat zones or disaster areas. It has suffered major cost overruns and delays which have been blamed on engine software problems. EADS has already had to renegotiate with some European countries which were threatening to reduce or cancel their orders. Recession hit South Africa said it cannot afford the planes, though it will still need to update its transport fleet which means Lockheed Martin could get orders for its C130. The only non-European orders for the plane had come from South Africa and Malaysia.