A400M ontwikkelingen

Gestart door Lex, 27/06/2009 | 23:25 uur


Airbus A400M project in turmoil as Madrid signals cancellation  ( Spanje ; 27 totaal besteld, 14 tot nu geleverd, resterende 13 gecanceld ) 

Madrid?s unresolved orders for the Airbus A400M airlifter, the biggest defense project in Europe, are in turmoil and may have a significant impact on aviation investment in one of Airbus?s co-founding nations. Sources in the defense sector have disclosed that Spain is becoming increasingly hesitant about delivering the remaining 13 planes from their initial order of 27, indicating that the Spanish Air Force may not require them. This implies that only 14 A400M cargo planes will be in service with the Spanish Air Force.

Designed to boost the strategic autonomy of seven European NATO nations, the A400M project has been hit by cost overruns and delays. As a result, any decision over the future of the A400M is expected to trigger intense negotiations over alternative defense orders and Airbus?s ongoing investment in Spain.

Spain and Airbus are already discussing how to lessen the impact of a partial A400M order cancelation while Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez?s office has issued a detailed breakdown of the advantages that Spain has given to Airbus. In a statement following a meeting, the prime minister?s office urged Airbus to increase its footprint in Spain, alongside France, Germany, and Britain.




Airbus oefent met A400M als blusvliegtuig

Een test met een Airbus A400M in brandblusuitrusting is succesvol verlopen.

De testvluchten met de A400M vonden plaats in Spanje. Het belangrijkste doel van de oefening was aan te tonen dat de Airbus in staat is in korte tijd voldoende water te droppen. Zodoende daalde het militaire transportvliegtuig bij daglicht naar een hoogte van slechts 150 voet, nam de snelheid af tot slechts 125 knopen en dropte het toestel twintig ton water in tien seconden tijd. De demonstratie leverde indrukwekkende beelden op.

Het prototype wordt ontwikkeld in samenwerking met de Spaanse luchtmacht, de Europese autoriteiten voor brandblusoperaties en het Spaanse ministerie voor milieu. Mike Schoellhorn, CEO van Airbus Defence and Space, noemt de ontwikkeling van de blusuitrusting een belangrijke stap. 'We zijn ervan overtuigd dat de A400M een cruciale rol kan spelen in de strijd tegen de steeds toenemende dreiging van bosbranden, en het herstel van sociale en ecologische systemen kan ondersteunen.' Elke A400M kan in beginsel worden uitgerust met de bluskit. Het toesteltype, dat in de loop van de jaren al heeft bewezen zeer flexibel inzetbaar te zijn, krijgt er daarmee een belangrijke functionaliteit bij. Airbus zegt de komende tijd te gaan onderzoeken of het vliegtuig ook 's nachts als blusvliegtuig kan worden ingezet.



UK reveals interest in placing follow-on A400M order

The UK Ministry of Defence has for the first time revealed its interest in acquiring an additional batch of Airbus Defence & Space A400M Atlas tactical transports, as the Royal Air Force draws close to completing its 22-strong fleet of on-order examples.



Indonesia Ministry of Defence orders two Airbus A400Ms

The Indonesia Ministry of Defence has placed an order for two Airbus A400M aircraft in multirole tanker and transport configuration

The contract, which will become effective in 2022, will bring the total number of A400M operators to ten nations. The agreement includes a complete maintenance and training support package. A Letter of Intent was also signed for the future acquisition of four additional A400M aircraft.

"This new order will further expand the A400M footprint in the Asia-Pacific region. The A400M offers outstanding capabilities to Indonesia, providing its air force with the perfect platform to deliver large and heavy loads into remote areas and multiplying its airpower projection thanks to reliable aerial refuelling capabilities," said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space.

Capable of operating from rough and short runways, the A400M will strengthen the Indonesian Air Force's airlift capabilities to rapidly respond to any crisis, demonstrated in the aftermath of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck the country in 2018. The A400M was the first large airlifter able to deliver heavy loads like fuel trucks and excavators as well as food, clothes and medical supplies using a damaged and short runway in Palu (Central Sulawesi, Indonesia).

"The A400M is a truly multi-role platform and will greatly enhance the Indonesian Air Force's tactical air-to-air capabilities. This aircraft will play a key role in other key missions including paratrooping and heavy cargo transportation. We are also looking at additional A400M acquisition in the near term, with future A400M developments such as firefighting an important capability we are exploring jointly with Airbus. The A400M will become a national asset and the cornerstone for Human Assistance and Disaster Response missions, beyond its tactical and air-to-air capabilities," said Prabowo Subianto, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Indonesia.

The A400M can carry heavy and outsize loads across strategic distances, deliver these into tactical locations, while offering the added aerial refuelling capability. An ideal solution to meet air forces' multirole tanker and transport aircraft requirements.

With the ability to fly fast and at high and extremely low altitudes, the A400M is the ideal platform for refuelling fighter and other major aircraft by means of two underwing refuelling pods. Its built-in air-to-air refuelling capability allows rapid reconfiguration as a tanker, making it easily adaptable to changing operational scenarios and missions. This adaptability is unique to the A400M, which can itself also be refuelled in flight.



The Republic of Kazakhstan orders two Airbus A400Ms

The Republic of Kazakhstan has placed an order for two Airbus A400M aircraft and becomes the ninth operator together with Germany, France, United Kingdom, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Malaysia and Luxembourg.

With delivery of the first aircraft scheduled in 2024, the contract includes a complete suite of maintenance and training support. Together with the agreement a Memorandum of Understanding has also been signed to collaborate on Maintenance and Overhaul services and with a first step of creating a local C295 maintenance centre.

"The A400M will become the cornerstone of Kazakhstan's tactical and strategic airlifting operations," said Michael Schoellhorn, CEO of Airbus Defence and Space. "This new export contract brings the total number of A400M orders to 176 aircraft, a figure that we expect to increase in the near future. With more than 100 aircraft delivered and 100,000 flight hours in operation, the A400M has proven its capabilities, reaching a state of maturity that many potential customers were waiting for."

With the capacity to accommodate the country's inventory and conduct military, civil and humanitarian missions, the A400M will enable Kazakhstan to quickly respond to any mission by rapidly deploying game-changing capabilities over long distances and enabling effective access to remote areas.



Airbus delivers the 100th A400M

25 May 2021

  • The milestone aircraft includes all new certified capabilities
  • The global fleet has reached 100,000 flight hours
  • Known as MSN111 this is the tenth A400M for the Spanish Air Force
Seville, 25 May 2021 – Airbus has reached 100 A400M deliveries with MSN111, the tenth A400M for the Spanish Air Force. The aircraft performed its ferry flight on 24th May from Seville to Zaragoza, where the Spanish A400M fleet is based.

In the same week, the A400M global fleet also achieved the 100,000 flight-hours landmark performing missions worldwide for all eight customer nations.

All A400M operators have been able to operate the aircraft intensively for Covid-19 emergency response missions, as well as conduct joint, collaborative operations.
New capabilities

Recently the A400M successfully conducted a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification flight test campaign in coordination with the DGA (French Directorate General of Armaments), completing the majority of its certification objectives, including the first simultaneous refueling of two helicopters.

The A400M is already able to drop up to 116 paratroopers, via simultaneous dispatch from the side doors with automatic parachute opening, or from the ramp with automatic parachute opening or in freefall, day and night. Recent tests were completed in Spain, in collaboration with the UK Royal Air Force parachute test team, to expand up to 25,000 feet (7,600 metres) for automatic parachute opening - and up to 38,000ft (11,582 metres) for free fall.

The A400M also completed additional tests to expand its air drop capability, including multiple platforms with parachute extraction (23 tonnes). France and Spain participated in these flights. Another way to deliver cargo on austere airstrips without handling equipment was also certified: Combat offload of up to 19 tonnes of pallets (one pass) or 25 tonnes (two passes) on paved or unpaved airstrips.

The A400M also achieved a new decisive milestone after the certification flights of its Automatic Low Level Flight capability for Instrumental Meteorological Conditions (IMC). Using navigation systems and terrain databases, without the need of a terrain-following radar, this is a first for a military transport aircraft. This makes the aircraft less detectable in hostile areas and less susceptible to threats while conducting operations in hostile environments.

In operation

In terms of collaborative missions, the Spanish Air Force supported the French Armée de l´Air in the transport of a Caracal helicopter from Cazaux (France) to Tucson (USA), using a Spanish A400M. The flight was used by CLAEX (Spanish Logistics Center for Armament and Experimentation) and CECTA (Air Transport Cargo Evaluation Cell) to validate the loading process on Spanish A400Ms.

Key military missions last year included the delivery of almost 40 tonnes of food, water, fuel and ammunition by a single French A400M to troops based in the Sahel region of Africa, the first A400M to airdrop supplies in a country outside of Europe.

In addition, Germany became the first A400M customer to use the A400M as a tanker in real missions providing support in the "Counter Daesh" operation in Jordan.

Life-saving medevac missions during COVID-19

2020 and 2021 also saw the use of the A400M in civil emergency response roles during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, not least for civil medical evacuation (medevac) duties - with Airbus providing critical support for air force operators – as well as for transporting key medical relief supplies.  The versatility of the aircraft also allowed a rapid conversion to medevac configuration, where installed critical care modules provided airborne intensive care units.

With the maturity, versatility and unique capabilities proven in operations all around the world, A400M is proving to be a game changer for military airlift and humanitarian missions in the 21st century.

These milestones clearly demonstrate the maturity of the A400M programme on all fronts.


A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.

-- Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.


Airbus A400M conducts major helicopter refuelling certification campaign

Getafe, 19 April 2021 – The Airbus A400M new generation airlifter has successfully conducted a major helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification campaign, completing the majority of its development and certification objectives. Airbus Defence and Space aims to achieve full helicopter air-to-air refuelling certification later this year with the conclusion of all mandatory night operation trials.

The flight tests, performed in coordination with the French Armament General Directorate (DGA), involved operations with two French Air Force H225M helicopters.

The campaign took place in day and night conditions over the west coast of France at between 1,000 ft and 10,000 ft and flight speeds as low as 105 knots. During those flights, a total of 81 wet contacts and transfers of 6.5 tonnes of fuel were achieved, which included simultaneous refuelling of two helicopters for the first time. The tests confirmed the positive results of the dry and wet contact operations conducted in 2019 and 2020.

Helicopter air-to-air refuelling is a unique military capability and key for Special Forces operations, involving aircraft with different flight profiles and sharing a very limited common flight envelope, requiring close formation flying patterns at low altitudes and night time conditions.

With this capability the A400M becomes one of the few tanker aircraft in the world capable of such operations. The multi-purpose H225M is one of the few helicopters in the world capable of in-flight refuelling, extending the standard 700 NM range by up to 10 hours flight time.

A400M as tanker

The A400M is certified as standard to be quickly configured as a tanker. Carrying up to 50.8 tonnes of fuel in its wings and centre wing box, without compromising any cargo hold area, two additional cargo hold tanks can also be installed, providing an additional 5.7 tonnes of fuel each. The separate cargo-hold tanks allows for the use of different types of fuel, enabling the A400M to cater for the needs of different types of receiver aircraft.

As a tanker, the A400M has already demonstrated its ability to refuel fighter receivers such as Eurofighter, Rafale, Tornado or F/A-18 at their preferred speeds and altitudes, and is also able to refuel other large aircraft such as another A400M for buddy refuelling, C295 or C-130.


A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.

-- Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.


Hoofd van ontwerpen en integratie is wel een Duitser:P


Lijkt wel een V-1 joh.
Je Maintiendrai! Blog: Krijgsmacht Next-Generation


A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.

-- Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.


Citaat van: JdL op 22/09/2020 | 10:21 uur
De Duitsers hadden oorspronkelijk 53 A400M's besteld
Ze nemen er 40 in gebruik.
Begrijp ik het dan goed dat ze de 13 stuks die ze 'over' hebben willen poolen?
Goede constructie om klein aantal uren in te kopen, scheelt kostbare C-17 uren.
Dat is wel het plan volgens mij, ze willen 10 kisten inzetten voor deze pool waardoor ze er nog 3 over houden. Misschien nemen ze die helemaal niet af of gebruiken ze die als reserve voor de 40 operationele kisten.

Vliegkosten van een C-17 zijn 24,000 USD per uur, de informatie van een A400M kan ik niet vinden in openbare bronnen.


De Duitsers hadden oorspronkelijk 53 A400M's besteld
Ze nemen er 40 in gebruik.
Begrijp ik het dan goed dat ze de 13 stuks die ze 'over' hebben willen poolen?
Goede constructie om klein aantal uren in te kopen, scheelt kostbare C-17 uren.
'The goal is world peace, and to do so you must have strength' Ronald Reagan


Citaat van: Harald op 22/09/2020 | 08:25 uur
Hungary and Germany Start Multinational Transport Project


Klinkt interessant, misschien ook nog mogelijkheid voor onze KLU om te investeren in een klein aantal vlieguren zodat we altijd reserve capaciteit hebben naast onze eigen C-130's en de uren die we hebben met de A330 en C-17's. De laatste jaren hebben we veel gebruik gemaakt van onze vliegtuigen o.a. voor operaties in de West in de vorm van noodhulp.

Ik zeg niet dat we hier moeten inzetten op 1000 uur per jaar maar misschien 200 a 500 uur? Ook afhankelijk van hoe de vervanging van de C-130's gaat uitpakken.


Hungary and Germany Start Multinational Transport Project

With the Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU), an international A400M pool is being established at Wunstorf Air Base, and Hungary is the first partner nation to stand by Germany's side.

With a decision in 2017, the Federal Ministry of Defense authorized the Air Force to set up a new air transport association with multinational participation, in addition to operating its own fleet of 40 new A400M air transport aircraft. Since then, the Air Force has been developing the basis for the multinational transport pool known as the "Multinational Air Transport Unit (MNAU)."

With the establishment of the implementation team, marked by the first staff member of the MNAU in Wunstorf, the first step of this plan has now been put into practice. Hungary is Germany's first international partner. "The establishment of the implementation team of the Multinational Air Transport Unit is another milestone in multinational military air transport. With the integration of the first technical officer of the Hungarian Air Force, the cooperation with our Hungarian partners begins," says Lieutenant General Ingo Gerhartz, Inspector of the Air Force.

The first Hungarian technical officer has moved to Wunstorf. He is now supporting his German comrades in their work on the Air Force's most modern military transport aircraft.

MNAU will operate from Lechfeld in the future

In future, the MNAU will be based at Lechfeld air base. It is planned to station ten A400M there in order to set up a second A400M location in addition to Wunstorf. Member nations of the MNAU will have the opportunity to bundle their need for flight hours and air transport. This not only protects the climate, but also saves considerable costs and resources.

Generalmajor Nandar Kilian, Chef der



A400M conducts first 'wet' air-to-air refuelling with a helicopter

20 AUGUST 2020

by Emmanuel Huberdeau

An Airbus A400M transport/tanker aircraft has conducted a 'wet' air-to-air refuelling (AAR) contact with a helicopter, it was announced by the French Direction Générale de l'Armement (DGA) on 19 August.

The test campaign, which was actually flown from 20–31 July, and involved an A400M test aircraft commenting with a French Air Force Airbus H225M Caracal helicopter from 1/67 'Pyrénées' squadron. The trials were aimed at assessing the two aircraft flight envelopes and the performances of the refuelling system, and showed that fuel could be transferred from the A400M to the H225M.

Up to now, only 'dry' contacts between the A400M and helicopters had been conducted in September 2019.

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'Wet' aerial refuelling contacts between an A400M and H225M helicopter were made for the first time during trials in late July, the DGA announced on 19 August. (DGA)

A fighter without a gun . . . is like an airplane without a wing.

-- Brigadier General Robin Olds, USAF.