A400M military transport plane
The Direction générale de l’Armement (DGA) [defence procurement agency] has just taken delivery of the first production model of the A400M military transport plane. Tomorrow the aircraft, carrying the serial number MSN7, will fly to Orléans-Bricy air base, the operating base for its introduction into the air force. The official ceremony marking this event will take place at a later stage, in the presence of the authorities concerned.
This first delivery is the culmination of a long, complex and painstaking process between the Airbus Military manufacturing teams, the seven partner nations’ government teams and those of the Organization for Joint Armament Cooperation (OCCAR). The process consisted of:
two certifications, civil and military, concerning the plane’s safety, completed a few days ago;
qualification, [which involves] checking the plane’s actual performance against contract specifications, awarded on 31 July;
delivery of aircraft MSN7, [which involves] engineers, test pilots and quality control specialists from the DGA testing the plane on the ground and in flight.
It should be noted that the crew which will fly the MSN7 from its production site in Seville (Spain) to the Orléans-Bricy base is composed exclusively of air force flight personnel. Since January 2013, their and the A400M support technicians’ training has been divided between several sites in Europe: Toulouse, Seville and Bremen.
A military transport plane that is at once strategic, tactical and at the cutting edge of technology, the A400M is unequalled on the global market. Equipped with four turboprop engines, the A400M is designed to transport up to 37 tonnes and carry out all transport-related tasks, particularly intra- and inter-theatre airlift, assault landings on rough airfields, air dropping of personnel and equipment – including from very high altitudes – in-flight refuelling and medical evacuations.
Seven client countries are taking part in the A400M European transport plane programme: Germany, France, Spain, the United Kingdom, Turkey, Belgium and Luxembourg. France is the first country to receive A400M planes./.