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.

Welcoming the A400M to the French Air Force, September 30, 2013. Credit: Airbus Military

Welcoming the A400M to the French Air Force, September 30, 2013. Credit: Airbus Military

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.

Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the release of decoy flares from the A400M new generation airlifter as part of the development of the aircraft´s self-protection systems. The flares are designed to mislead heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles, particularly surface-to-air missiles (SAM). They are a crucial part of the self-protection system because of the A400M´s ability to operate from short and unpaved airstrips close to the scene of military action where SAMs may be fielded by an enemy. Credit: Airbus Military

Airbus Military has successfully demonstrated the release of decoy flares from the A400M new generation airlifter as part of the development of the aircraft´s self-protection systems. . Credit: Airbus Military 

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:

http://www.defenceweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=32019:denel-celebrates-delivery-of-armee-de-lairs-first-a400m&catid=35:Aerospace&Itemid=107

For earlier pieces see the following:

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-a400m-takes-flight-redefining-the-airlift-market/

http://www.sldinfo.com/the-evolving-prime-contractor-model-managing-the-supply-chain/

 

 

 

 

 

"If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn’t thinking."

—General George Patton Jr.

©2016 sldInfo. All rights reserved. Terms & Conditions.