The First French A400M and the Global Supply Chain: South Africa Flies with the French Air Force
2013-09-30 A key characteristic of core 21st century multi-mission systems is often their multi-national manufacturing character.
This is centrally true for the new A400M, which has just been delivered to the French Air Force.
According to a September 30, 2013 Airbus Military Press release:
More than 700 people celebrated the delivery of the first production A400M new generation airlifter to the French Air Force at a ceremony at the Airbus Military Final Assembly Line (FAL) at Seville, Spain on 30 September.
HRH Prince of Asturias, French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian, Spanish Minister of Defence, Pedro Morenés, as well as other military authorities from France and other partner nations and OCCAR representatives attended the ceremony along with EADS CEO Tom Enders, Airbus Military CEO Domingo Ureña-Raso and more than 300 Airbus and Airbus Military staff.
The aircraft, the first of 50 ordered by France and of a total of 174 on order, will be based at Orleans – Bricy Air Base and initially used for training before being deployed on military and humanitarian missions.
But not seen in the picture are the South Africans whose technology is resident on the plane.
Our partner DefenceWeb provided a good set of insights with regard to South African participation in this global plane:
Today was definitely not just another Monday at Denel Aerostructures (DAe), with engineers, artisans and technicians taking some time off to watch a live video link-up of the handover of the first production A400M to the French Air Force (Armee De L’Air) at Airbus Military’s facility in Seville, Spain.
The Kempton Park-based member of the Denel Group is the only Tier One supplier of manufactured components to Airbus Military for the new generation airlifter outside of Europe. It is executing three work packages.
The latest package is for the manufacture of the ribs, spars and swords, comprising the internal structure of the A400M’s distinctive T-tail and is worth about R200 million.
It was concluded in June this year during the Paris Airshow and will run for the duration of the entire A400M build program, Denel chairman Zoli Kunene said.
For more on this aspect of the A400M program see the following:
For earlier pieces see the following: