Airbus has decided to redesign the C295 military transport aircraft it builds in Spain to remove German components following Germany's freeze on arms exports to Saudi Arabia, company sources told Reuters.

Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said earlier this month the company could consider making products free of German parts because of Germany's "moral superelevation" on arms exports, which was frustrating Britain, France and Spain.

German curbs on arms exports to non-EU or NATO countries have long been a thorn in bilateral cooperation because of the historical objections of the Social Democrats (SPD), junior partners in Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling coalition.