The complaint says that Airbus and its Eurofighter subsidiary deceived the Austrian government over the purchase price for the aircraft and over "the true ability to deliver and true specifications of the Eurofighter interceptor planes".
Airbus Group SE (EADSF.PK, EADSY.PK) issued a statement in response to the criminal allegations made by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence against Airbus Defence and Space GmbH and Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, alleging willful deception and fraud linked to the order for Eurofighter jets back in 2003.
Defence minister Hans Peter Doskozil said the investigation suggested "Austria would not have chose to purchase the Eurofighter in 2003 without the fraudulent deception".
Austria had initially ordered 18 Eurofighter jets but reduced the order to 15 in 2007. It then ordered a review of the purchase in 2012 in light of bribery allegations. In particular, the government is alleging that Airbus and Eurofighter did not disclose that nearly 10 percent of the €1.9 billion purchase price (€183.4 million) related to the cost of offset transactions.
The damages incurred to Austria could amount to 1.1 billion euros, the findings said. He will commission a new report to find a cheaper alternative, he said.
The Eurofighter is built by a consortium comprising Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Leonardo as well as Airbus, which represents the other two nations in the European project: Germany and Spain.
Airbus was unable to comment at the present time, although a spokesman noted that it would comply with any legal inquiries.