An Update on the A400M, May 2014
2014-05-16 Second Line of Defense has visited the first operational KC-30A squadron in Australia and has reported on the progress of the squadron.
Its progress has been an important factor in Singapore’s decision to acquire the new Airbus tanker as well.
Second Line of Defense will soon visit the first operational A400M squadron at its base in France and report on progress in the operations of another new aircraft in service built by Airbus Defense.
In August 2013, the first A400M, delivered to the French Air Force, went into service. There are currently around 35 aircraft in various stages of production, including six out of a total of 53 A400Ms for the German Armed Forces.
Recently, the A400M landed in Mexico for a series of demonstration flights.
According to an Airbus Military press release dated May 15, 2014:
The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter landed today for the first time in Mexico, where the aircraft will show its performance in a series of demonstration flights.
Flown by the Experimental Test Pilot Ignacio “Nacho” Lombo, the aircraft landed at Mexico D.F. International Airport at 13.50 (local time). “I’m very proud to bring the A400M to Mexico to show how this aircraft is transforming the world of heavy transport. It will be a honor to demonstrate its capabilities to meet the challenges of this country”, said Nacho Lombo. The A400M will stay in Mexico until the 23 May.
And further progress was made this March, namely air drop trials with the aircraft. According to an Airbus Military press release from March 12, 2014:
The A400M new generation airlifter has successfully completed one of the most important elements of its continuing military flight-test program – the first phase of airdrop trials.
Flying over the Fonsorbes drop zone near Toulouse, an A400M development aircraft dropped a range of different loads by parachute during 11 flights over a two-week period.
In total it dropped 26 platforms and containers weighing from 255kg to 4 tons using the ramp aerial-delivery system (RAS-wedge), and 11 bundles weighing from 15kg to 320kg using the paratrooper doors.
And finally, the A400M has been delivered to its second customer, the Turkish Air Force. In an Airbus Military press release dated April 4, 2014:
The Turkish Air Force formally accepted the aircraft from Airbus Defence and Space at the A400M Final Assembly Line in Seville, Spain.
Following today’s contractual transfer of title, the aircraft, which is the third production A400M, will be flown to Kayseri air base in central Turkey where it will initially be used for training.
In Turkish Air Force service the A400M will replace the C-160 Transall offering a dramatic increase in air transport capability to the armed forces.